Bay City building owner speaks on fire, next steps
BAY CITY, Mich. (WNEM) – The owner of the Bay City building that caught fire on Tuesday spoke about the loss of the building that has been in his family for more than three decades.
On Tuesday, April 4, a fire swept through a Bay City building on North Linn Street near Midland Street.
“It’s really sad to see it go because the building has been there since around the 1800s, late 1800s,” Jack Klein, the building owner, said.
Klein said his heart dropped when he saw the building he bought in 1989 was on fire. Flames broke out in the kitchen of Mode’s Tavern Tuesday morning, destroying the restaurant, the three apartments on the second floor, and JR’s All-Star Haircuts for Men.
“I was notified in the morning about, let’s see it’d be Tuesday morning, at about 8:30 a.m. that there was smoke in the back,” Klein said. “And that was the first notification, so I proceeded immediately to the bar. And when I got there, there was, in fact, some smoke coming out of the back.”
Klein said he and his wife, Claudette, poured everything they had into buying and renovating the building after he retired from teaching, eventually opening Steamer’s Pub.
They sold the restaurant in 2000 but kept the property.
However, now the fate of the building is up in the air.
“We’re going to explore all our avenues, and we’ll see what we can do, and we haven’t made any decisions yet,” Klein said.
Klein said he won’t know his options until the building’s structural integrity is inspected to see if it’s worth repairing.
“We’re just hoping that everything turns out well,” Klein said.
Klein thanked the community for coming together to help his tenants and said he will do what he can to help them as well.
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