This morning on the drive into K-zoo I looked carefully after Exit 61 to see if I could spot any source of Tuesday's highway closure and detour delay. Sure enough, some distance past the Hopkins Propane plant, behind the trees, I saw a steel industrial building half burned and half collapsed. My guess is that there were either gas tanks or hazardous materials in the building and they closed the highway for safety's sake.
And frankly it prevented a dangerous gawker's backup, too. People being people, after all. (grin)
I was unable to stop for a picture, but maybe tomorrow morning I'll pull over and take a quick shot.
Update To The Update
Did a Google search on "mlive shelbyville fire" to find out what the Grand Rapids Press, er Kalamazoo Press, had.
U.S. 131 reopened near Hopkins after closure due to fire
by Rex Hall Jr. | Kalamazoo Gazette
Tuesday May 19, 2009, 11:35 AM
UPDATE: U.S. 131 in both directions has been reopened to traffic, the Michigan Department of Transportation said in a news release at 12:13 p.m.
HOPKINS -- A two-mile stretch of U.S. 131 in Allegan County was shut down because of thick smoke from a fire that has hindered visibility on the highway, police said.
Firefighters were called at 9:52 a.m. to a blaze at Sebright Products Inc. in the 2600 block of 12th Street in Hopkins Township, just west of U.S. 131, authorities said. Police later shut down the northbound and southbound lanes of U.S. 131 between exits 59 and 61.
"(The fire) is pushing black smoke across the freeway and there's no visibility," Michigan State Police Motor Carrier Officer Marcia Linebaugh said shortly before 11 a.m.
An Allegan County dispatcher and the Michigan Department of Transportation both said it was unknown when the highway would be reopened.
Sebright manufactures industrial trash compactors, according to the company's Web site.
So it wasn't just the smoke column going up... but over, too. 'Kay.