Family business destroyed in morning fire - WNEM TV 5

Family business destroyed in morning fire

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BURTON, MI (WNEM) -

A fire broke out at a shopping center Monday morning.

It happened at the Family Dollar plaza near Belsay and Lapeer Road in Burton shortly after 9 a.m.

When Tom Cox thinks about all of the hard work he and his family put into the family business – Patriotic Pizza in Burton – he feels crushed.

On Monday morning, all of that hard work went up in flames.

“Everybody's just defeated because we worked so hard,” Cox said.

Fire ripped through the strip mall that was home to Patriotic Pizza and several other businesses.

“It's defeating because we were there, everything was happening, now this. What do you do?” Cox said.

You may remember Patriotic Pizza from a TV5 segment that aired last year when they opened.

The pizza parlor was an attempt to revitalize a struggling business area. After the parlor opened, so did a brewery and a video poker space.

And now, other businesses in the area worry about the effect of losing the four in the complex.

“It's scary. Lots of damage. I've got damage even with the traffic and loss of business. It's not good,” said Coney Island owner, Thomas Zelvrovski.

Kirk Wilkinson is the assistant fire chief for Burton. He told us no one was inside the building at the time, and no one was hurt.

“When we got here there was heavy smoke coming from all parts of the building,” Wilkinson said. “Indications from the color of the smoke the fire was possibly at the east end.”

Although you can't see it from outside, inside the building there is a collapsed wall and a hole in the roof. It's these two factors that make it difficult to say if the businesses can re-open.

“To try to take an old building in a community that kind struggled for a while and give them something,” Cox said. “We wanted to do business here and wanted the community to have new businesses to choose from.”

Officials said no one was injured from the fire. 

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