Fire destroys multiple businesses in East Tawas - WNEM TV 5

Fire destroys multiple businesses in East Tawas

Posted: Updated:
EAST TAWAS, MI (WNEM) -

Fire crews battled a blaze at the Freel Law Office building on Newman and State streets in East Tawas.

Fire officials believe the fire was sparked by an electrical failure. It started at around 12:45 a.m. Tuesday morning.

"It's miserable, the fire was burning, everything's covered in ice," said a firefighter at the scene.

That ice was caused by the sub-freezing temperatures that crews had to deal with when fighting the fire.  It had an immediate effect.

"One of our trucks was frozen by the time we got here, but luckily we had enough we could put enough lines on one truck to fight the fire," said the fire chief.

You couldn't help but notice the way the frozen water coated everything around the burned-out building -- lamp posts, street signs and trees. Firefighters manning the ladder hose had to strap themselves onto the ladder so they wouldn't slide down the icy steps.

>>Click here to see photos of firefighters battling the blaze<<

Another situation fire crews have to be aware of in sub-zero temperatures is the pavement that has pure ice on top, making it very tough for them to find their footing.

Is it safe to say this is the worst type of conditions for you guys to fight a fire?  "By far, by far," said another firefighter. "The cold, everything's freezing up, you've got to leave the hoses running or it's going to tighten up on you and you won't be able to do anything with it."

Every fire department in Iosco County and one from Arenac County helped out the East Tawas fire department so that crew members could avoid hypothermia.  Upwards of 70 firefighters took turns getting out of the severe conditions.

"Oh, it's brutal. I mean you just have to take breaks, go in, get coffee, take your gloves off and thaw out a little bit," explained another firefighter.

Randy Brewer delivered free sandwiches to firefighters to warm them up and keep them going through the icy job.

"Oh, they were happier than heck," said Brewer.

The building is connected to the Chick-N-Dots children's clothing store, The Whitetail Cafe and a laudromat is also nearby. The area is about a block and a half north of U.S. 23.

Officials tell WNEM that both the Freel Law Office building and the Chick-N-Dots clothing store sustained extensive smoke and water damage. Witnesses said that the building that was on fire has collapsed.

No injuries were reported.

WNEM will continue to follow this story and will provide updates as new information comes into the newsroom.

Copyright 2013 WNEM (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Report: 5 people injured in nightclub shooting

    Report: 5 people injured in nightclub shooting

    Sunday, May 28 2017 4:19 PM EDT2017-05-28 20:19:44 GMT
    WNEMWNEM
     Police are investigating a shooting that took place early Sunday morning at a nightclub in south Mississippi.    Five people sustained injuries that were not life-threatening.    WLOX quoted police as saying the shooting happened at Platinum Sports Bar & Lounge in Moss Point.    According to Moss Point Police Department, a fight started in the club, which spilled outside into the parking lot. Several people began shooting. Five people were ...More >
     Police are investigating a shooting that took place early Sunday morning at a nightclub in south Mississippi.    Five people sustained injuries that were not life-threatening.    WLOX quoted police as saying the shooting happened at Platinum Sports Bar & Lounge in Moss Point.    According to Moss Point Police Department, a fight started in the club, which spilled outside into the parking lot. Several people began shooting. Five people were ...More >
  • Woman charged in husband's hospital death dies

    Woman charged in husband's hospital death dies

    Sunday, May 28 2017 4:12 PM EDT2017-05-28 20:12:22 GMT
    nonenone
    A woman charged with killing her husband as he lay in a Florida hospital bed last year has died.    Jan Sochalski faced a murder charge for allegedly suffocating her husband last May after he suffered life-threatening complications following back surgery. Sixty-four-year-old Henry Sochalski was a retired Trenton, New Jersey, police officer.    The couple lived in Florida.    The Flagler County Sheriff's Office told The Daytona Beach News-Journal (http://b...More >
    A woman charged with killing her husband as he lay in a Florida hospital bed last year has died.    Jan Sochalski faced a murder charge for allegedly suffocating her husband last May after he suffered life-threatening complications following back surgery. Sixty-four-year-old Henry Sochalski was a retired Trenton, New Jersey, police officer.    The couple lived in Florida.    The Flagler County Sheriff's Office told The Daytona Beach News-Journal (http://b...More >
  • Missing Midland man found in southern Michigan

    Missing Midland man found in southern Michigan

    Sunday, May 28 2017 8:20 PM EDT2017-05-29 00:20:28 GMT
    William “Bill” Brown (Source: Family)William “Bill” Brown (Source: Family)

    Family friends now tell TV5 Bill was found in Rochester Hills Sunday evening. 

    More >

    Family friends now tell TV5 Bill was found in Rochester Hills Sunday evening. 

    More >
Powered by Frankly
WNEM
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, WNEM; Saginaw, MI. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.