Fire Consumes Multiple Businesses In Alma 10-14-2010 - WNEM TV 5

Fire Consumes Multiple Businesses In Alma 10-14-2010


GRATIOT COUNTY, Mich. -- Fire crews responded to a large structure fire that damaged at least two businesses in Gratiot County's largest city early Thursday morning.
Officials from the Alma Fire Department said the three-story building that houses Stucchi's Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt and the Alma Sign Shop caught fire just after 4 a.m.
A third business may also be involved.
The historic brick and wood building located at the corner of Superior Street and State Street was built in the 1880s as Wright's Opera House.
Firefighters trying to save the structure fear the worst. "It's going to have a devastating effect on our community," said Public Safety Director Dave Walsh. "We just started redoing some of these buildings [and] new businesses have moved in. This is disastrous to Alma."
Firefighters said a firewall that separates the businesses may have limited the damage; however, no official damage estimates were made available.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. No injures were reported.
Long time residents say it's like losing a dear old friend.
"It's terrible, I feel so bad," said resident Alicia Hevel. "We used to go there all the time and now, I don't know, I feel bad for the owners."
"We were down here early this morning, watching the fire," said Sharon Cole. "My husband and I would walk down here all the time to get ice cream with our children."
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