Downtown building, apartment badly damaged by blaze

Sunday Times Newspapers


WYANDOTTE — A fire nearly destroyed an entire building downtown earlier this week.


The building at 3012 First housed a quilt shop that was scheduled to open in June and an apartment upstairs.


The fire, which took 16 firefighters and three departments two hours to contain, began about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.


Three firefighters and a ladder truck from the Southgate Fire Department and four Trenton firefighters were also on the scene.


Riverview handled other Wyandotte fire and ambulance calls during the blaze.


Fire Chief Michael MacDonald said the fire started in the rear section of the building, which later collapsed.


He added that the fire most likely was caused by electrical work in the ceiling, but it was unclear whether it was from the apartment or the business.


“It’s hard to pin down what the actual cause was,” MacDonald said. “We’re ruling it as accidental for the time being.


“But we’re not 100 percent sure on that. It is an open investigation.”


No one was in the apartment or the shop when the fire broke out.


The upstairs apartment, 3014 First, was being rented by a younger woman, MacDonald said.


“We salvaged some of her papers, but besides that almost everything is lost,” he said. “It is what we call an 85 percent loss.


“Part of the building is still standing, but it is pretty much a loss.”


There is a good possibility that the building will be demolished, according to MacDonald.


Remodeling was being done to the shop downstairs, and several expensive pieces of equipment were ruined.


MacDonald said the fire spread quickly due to a gas feed popping upstairs and natural gas fueling the flames.


Surrounding buildings have no fire damage, but do have either minor smoke or water damage, or both.