Clinton Township explosion: What's known, unknown after building was leveled by blasts

Multiple explosions rocked a Clinton Township building on Monday night, destroying it and sending metal flying up to a mile away. One of those pieces of metal killed a man who was ¼ mile away.

Here's everything currently known about the explosions:

Fire leads to explosions

A fire at the building that houses Goo and Select Distributors at 15 Mile and Groesbeck was reported around 9 p.m. Monday. When firefighters arrived, they couldn't immediately start battling the fire because of the shrapnel.

"It's certainly dangerous," Clinton Township Fire Chief Tim Duncan said. "Pieces of metal you'll see laying around on the ground, pieces this side just shredded, flying across the air."

VIEW: Photos of Clinton Township explosion aftermath

Multiple explosions were heard and felt miles away.

Duncan said he could hear the booms from his home, which is about seven or eight miles away from the scene.

"I was thinking to myself ‘hopefully this isn’t what I’m going to,'" he said.

Clinton Township explosion cause under investigation 

Fire investigators and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives are still looking into what caused the fire, which led to explosions.

According to the Select Distributors website, the company is a wholesale supplier of vapes, CBD products, hookahs, lighters, and more. Duncan said the company had nitrous oxide, butane canisters, and lighter fluid inside. These materials exploded repeatedly.

Barry Miller, with the city's building department, said that the business was issued a certificate of occupancy to operate a store. The business was not supposed to have canisters of nitrous oxide or butane.

"It wasn’t meant for this," Miller said.

The building was inspected and issued its occupancy certificate in 2022.

"Our last inspection did not show this amount of material in this building," Duncan said. "Without those tanks, we don’t have this issue."

1 killed by projectile

A 19-year-old victim who was about ¼ mile away died after being hit by a flying canister.

Originally, it was reported that the victim suffered unknown injuries and underwent surgery. During an update Tuesday morning, Duncan said he died around 4 a.m.

Debris from a fire and explosions in Clinton Township on March 4, 2024.

Firefighter hurt, vehicles damaged

A firefighter was injured when the truck he was inside was hit by debris. He was checked out at a hospital and is now recovering at home.

Duncan said three fire vehicles were also damaged. Two of them had tire damage from debris. The other vehicle had extensive damage because it was hit by projectiles.

"We don’t know if that one’s ever coming back in service," he said.