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Diesel spill in Goodrich

June 18, 2014 - Goodrich-On Sunday morning Atlas Township Fire Department responded to the odor of diesel fuel at the vacant Genesys Health Systems residential hospice facility, 7280 M-15.

Township Fire Chief Fred Forys reported firefighters working on a training happened to notice the strong smell of diesel fuel and responded to the abandoned building.

The Genesee County Hazardous Material team, along with firefighters, were called out about 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

Pete Morey, village council member and street administrator, was also contacted.

"The biggest problem was how to get into the building which was locked up," said Morey. "Firefighters had to go in through a window and determined fuel escaped from a 275-gallon tank used to supply diesel fuel for a generator that supplied auxiliary power to the building."

Morey added that power is needed for a sprinkler system and electrical use in case of emergency.

"On Friday (June 13) the Goodrich area had a power outage for about three hours in the afternoon," he said. "I guess the generator came on then and the pump just kept running, pushing diesel fuel into a sump pump then out to the street. It was a very big mess with some of the fuel running toward a swampy area west of the building. The ditches were full of diesel fuel and absorbent pads were in place."

Young's Environmental Services, along with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, were on site for the clean-up and evaluation. There were no injuries.

Genesys Health Systems announced in June 2013 that it will relocate its residential hospice services in Goodrich to a separate, dedicated wing of Genesys Convalescent Center (a skilled nursing facility) in Grand Blanc in August. Genesys is currently evaluating several viable re-purposing opportunities for the Goodrich building site. The facility was originally constructed to be the Wheelock Memorial Hospital, in memory of the founder of Goodrich's original hospital—a full-service, 53-bed hospital on 8.7 acres. About 1997 the facility was converted to a hospice unit.

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