This fireball happened when a space rock crashed into our atmosphere, was heated and then exploded about 15-20 miles up.
Tons of space debris collide with the Earth every day, but most are tiny– a grain of sand, and they come from cometary material or rocks. This one was different in that it was six feet across, large enough that pieces can make it to Earth.
These rocks really zip around the solar system at 25,000-50,000 mph when it passes from outer space into our atmosphere, about 60 miles up. The meteor heats up from the friction with our atmosphere, becoming extremely hot, shedding material that shines brightly. The thermal stresses and atmospheric drag can cause the meteor to explode, as happened to our fireball (20 miles up). Then, any remaining pieces fall to Earth. This fireball brightened over Brighton and exploded south of Howell, but was visible for miles around (even in Illinois and Pennsylvania).
This was a rare event and astronomers keep track of the bigger stuff, anything larger than 100 m across (the one in Russia in February 2013 was about 50 m across!); the first 20 seconds of the video is impressive:
The really big ones, a few km across, will ruin your whole day (and then some), but they only happen every million years or more, so there will be plenty of time to push them out of a collision orbit with Earth.