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5th St. Calumet Fire Site

Site Contact:
Brian Kelly


Site Location:
108-120 Fifth St
Calumet, MI 49913

Final Update

Between September 14, 2021, and July 13, 2022, working with state and local governments, EPA completed a time-critical removal action that removed more than 1,800 tons of asbestos contaminated debris, 135 tons of contaminated soil, and 12 35-gallon dry-cleaning underground storage tanks. Utilities were capped, and below-grade internal freestanding walls were rubblized.

EPA has completed the removal and plans no further work under the current action. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, or EGLE, intends to conduct further assessment of the former dry cleaner.



On May 21, 2021 a fire destroyed three buildings, including several apartments and commercial businesses near the intersection of Fifth and Portland streets in Calumet, Michigan. An assessment of the rubble resulting from the fire found that the debris was contaminated with asbestos.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was often used in construction in the mid-20th century. Breathing high levels of asbestos fibers for a long period of time can cause scar-like tissue in the lungs and the lining surrounding the lungs. 

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was one of the responding agencies, and worked with the Village of Calumet, Calumet Township, Houghton County, and the Michigan Department Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, or EGLE to begin the cleanup of asbestos-contaminated debris resulting from the fire.

On September 2021, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began the removal and disposal of asbestos-contaminated rubble and debris from the site. EPA monitored air quality during the cleanup and backfilled open basements after the cleanup was completed.

Portions of Portland Street, Fourth Street, and part of the parking lot at Agassiz Park were closed during the cleanup.