Firefighters in Windsor, Ontario, are battling an enormous fire at
what seems to be a plastic warehouse a plastics recycling facility, a blaze that's causing vicious black smoke to cloud the city and can even be seen across the river in Detroit.
Besides being the place where under-21 Michigan college students cross the border to drink and where your aunts go to watch faded soul singers perform at the casino, Windsor is one of the more important cogs in the auto-industry machine, particularly in Canada. Chrysler Canada has its headquarters there, as well as several automaker and supplier plants in the city and surrounding region.
Being that it's a port city next to another major industrial city, the city is often drawn into international transportation debates as well, and the city is always monitored by U.S. Homeland Security.
Not saying any of this to start anything, but there's no doubt that in the wake of the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion, you can expect there to be some long-term, multi-agency investigation into what exactly is going on here.
In the meantime, the stench is covering Windsor and, thanks to the hot, windy weather in the Midwest, creeping over into the Motor City. Hopefully there are no injuries. We'll try to keep you updated here.
UPDATE #1: As expected, any and all outdoor events in Windsor today have been canceled, per the Essex Free Press.
UPDATE #2: Readers turbosuperencabulator and Mac offer some more context in the comments. The fire is in LaSalle, Ont., a suburb of Windsor and, depending on your vantage point, either really smelly or not smelly at all.
UPDATE #3, 6:35 p.m. EST: The fire could go on for hours, according to CBC Windsor.
UPDATE #4, 8:33 p.m. EST: The city of Windsor has declared a state of emergency. However, the fire is contained and Mayor Eddie Francis says the fire will burn for another one to two hours. Residents are told to stay in their homes, close their windows and not to turn on air-conditioning. No injuries have been reported.