Update on the Tissue Depot Fire

**Press Release**

Cheboygan Paper Mill/Storage Building

437 S. Main St

Cheboygan, MI 49721

This morning fire crews were still on scene putting out hot spots that developed. The EPA has been testing the air quality over night and found the levels of particulates to have diminished significantly to safe levels with just a couple areas near the dam that are a bit higher but considered safe. Therefore, the “shelter in place” order will be rescinded at 1:30 pm. Testing will continue and today. Once the samples are collected, they go to a lab for analysis. The results of the testing can take from three to seven days. The EPA has brought in contractors to assist in the environmental cleanup to include ground and water contaminates. This will not be a quick process and may take several weeks. Booms are in the river downstream of the dam to collect any contamination and debris. In the meantime, we are requesting no one fish at the Cheboygan dam or down river from the dam. We are also asking everyone to avoid the area of the fire as it is considered an active investigation. The ATF fire investigator and the MSP fire marshal are on scene to investigate the cause and origin of the fire. The building owner and business owner are cooperating. At this time the cause is still unknown. Road closures are still in place around the fire scene, and we are asking the public to stay away from the area and obey the road closures. Areas downwind from the fire may notice dust or other debris in their yard. Continued testing will also encompass ground samples from the area including the schools, hospital, and senior living areas and those results will be released to the public as soon as we get them. It is recommended not to cut your grass or do any work that may raise dust back in the air until the results come back. Wipe your feet and if you have pets it is recommended to wipe their feet off before entering the home. We are moving as fast as we can to mitigate the event and ensure public safety. If the public has further questions about air and ground quality prior to the results coming back it is requested, they contact the Michigan Department of Health and Human Service at 1-800-MITOXIC. Unified command will still be set up for planning and operations working with the EPA, EGLE, and MDHHS as well as local and county officials. Command would like to thank the citizens and businesses for the continuous supply of food and drinks to all the first responders, it is greatly appreciated.

Posted on September 14th, 2023 in Announcements.