Twenty-five years ago, a quiet Sunday morning turned into a nightmare.
The MV Jupiter exploded on the Saginaw River.
The Jupiter ruptured a hose and filled with gasoline. It didn't take long for a spark to ignite the gas, and create a giant fire-ball. Flames and smoke filled the sky for miles.
Now, a quarter of a century later, Don Comtois of the Saginaw River Marine Historical Society remembers that morning.
He was working in Sault St. Marie, but headed to Bay City when he heard the news.
“Somebody came in on Sunday morning as we were getting ready and said there is this big boat fire in Bay City. Oh, OK,” Comtois said. “But when we got north of west branch, we could see the smoke that far out and knew it was a serious situation.”
Comtois showed items from the Jupiter exhibit set up for the anniversary at the Dobson Antique Toy and Firehouse Museum in Bay City.
Like an American flag, which a crewman saved from the ship right before it exploded.
“You can see the holes melted from the heat,” Comtois said.
Seeing these artifacts, touching a life jacket from the Jupiter someone wore to escape, these things bring visitors back to that frightful morning.
Copyright 2015 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.