Investigation into Clinton Township explosions delayed due to debris

It's been more than a week since a Clinton Township warehouse caught fire and set off multiple explosions. The site was active for several days. 

The warehouse was Goo and Select Distributors, a vape and smoke shop business at 15 Mile and Groesbeck. According to city officials, thousands of butane and nitrous oxide containers were being housed in the facility. 

When the explosions began on the night of March 4, 10 to 15 pound metal canisters were sent flying for miles – killing 19-year-old Turner Salter a quarter mile away and injuring a firefighter.

"I'm very angry at this - and anybody who sees this is angry," said Clinton Township Supervisor Bob Cannon. "It could have been hundreds of people that were injured or killed."

On Tuesday, March 12, a train was able to get back on the tracks behind the burned-out business after environmental crews cleared the area.

The crews continue to pick up dangerous debris, as investigators have not been able to get onto the site yet. Cannon said the on-site investigation will not begin for weeks. 

Goo and Select Distributors, a vape and smoke shop business at 15 Mile and Groesbeck, caught fire and began exploding on March 4, 2024.

"Now they're telling us they will not be in there until April 2nd or 3rd – so that's a couple of weeks down the road," he added. "What happens is the investigators all go in together."

Federal investigators from both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are involved in the operation. Alongside them, the Michigan State Police, Clinton Township Police and Fire department, as well as the Macomb County Prosecutor, are also participating in the investigation. 

"Prosecutor Pete Lucido has got a special team of investigators and attorneys, waiting for us to make a phone call," Cannon said. "We know that canisters were delivered that day – hundreds of containers, thousands of containers… Just that day, and so that's on top of what was already there in the back room."

And, the business was not licensed to have any of the nitrous or butane canisters.


Nitrous oxide whippet abuse bill signed into Michigan law

The penalties include a misdemeanor, imprisonment for up to 90 days and a fine of up to $5,000. Penalties for adults who sell to a minor are 1 year in jail, a fine of up to $7,500, or both.

Cannon noted that this should serve as a wake-up call.

"I think that any community that has anything like a smoke shop should be getting in there and investigating to see what's in the back room," he said.

The registered agent for Select Distributors with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs is Noor Kesto. He is also the registered agent for several other businesses in Novi, Ypsilanti, Livonia, Waterford and Ferndale.

The canisters from this site are still dangerous and will be placed in explosive-proof containers, Cannon said. He asks people to stay away from the site to allow the investigation to take shape.

"They've brought rubble to our community," Cannons said. "Someone is responsible for this rubble. We're going to find out who it is, how they did it, and hold them accountable."


Clinton Township explosion: 2+ million gallons of water used as debris continues to smolder

Firefighters have used an estimated 2+ million gallons of water as they work to suppress flames from Monday's Clinton Township explosion - and the rubble is still igniting.