Big Bay County Land Mark Goes Up In Flames 7-14-2010 - WNEM TV 5

Big Bay County Land Mark Goes Up In Flames 7-14-2010

A century-old Bay County landmark went up in flames early Wednesday morning, and while no one was injured in the blaze, residents say they'll miss the familiar sight.
The fire at the big red barn on M-13 and Cody-Esty roads in Pinconning was spotted just after 4 a.m.
At different points in the building’s existence, it was used as a bar, dance studio, pet shop and as a second hand store.
Retired school teacher and longtime Pinconning resident Leo Leclair was sad to see his childhood memories go up in flames.
“We used to come here as little shavers, we would dance upstairs and the bar was downstairs,” said Leclair. “It was a pancake house and a warehouse.”
Down the road from the building, neighbor Jim Miller said the flames were shooting through the roof.
“I looked out the curtains and the building was on fire,” said Miller. “I called 911.”
In the early 1900s, the old red barn was a favorite watering hole for locals and highway travelers. In recent years, it was a 10-family rummage shop suffering from slow sales.
“I took my stuff home because people haven't been stopping, said participant Noreen Vandenboom.
Leclair said he's going to miss the red barn and maybe some visitors, too.
“When I wanted to tell people where I lived, I would tell them to go to the red barn and head west,” said Leclair. “Now what am I going to do?”
WNEM TV5 is told the building is a complete loss, but luckily no one was seriously hurt in the fire.
Authorities said one firefighter did suffer heat exhaustion while battling the blaze.
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