Antique Cars, Garage Destroyed in Large Manistee Fire

A Manistee hobby garage that housed 12 antique cars was soon engulfed in flames.

“I mean there’s been gasoline explosions, acetylene tanks have blown, propane tanks have blown. There’s been a lot of stuff going on here,” says David Bachman, Director of Manistee’s Public Safety.

It all began around 1:30 this afternoon on Taylor Street. Once the fire started, it quickly went through the roof — putting neighboring houses in danger and setting off a chain of explosions, yet no one was hurt.

“It was out of control really really quickly,” says Bachman.

A fire destroyed this garage in Manistee. The blaze spread rapidly, and firefighters had to act quickly. 

Bachman says, “About one thirty this afternoon we got toned out for a structure fire visible flames and smoke.This building is lightweight there’s just nothing to stop it. Flames went through the roof.”

The garage belonged to Dave and Glenna Kelley. Dave used the space to work on vintage cars — and says 12 were inside when the fire started. Bachman says, “There’s a structure to the other side over here, there’s also one out in the back. so we put in a lot of resources to make sure those buildings stayed in tact and we didn’t lose them.”

When they got there, they realized the hydrants were nearly frozen solid and firefighters had to call in extra help. “We had some frozen hydrants but we were able to get in some over here,” says Bachman.

The blaze and the chain of gas explosions that came with it soon threatened nearby buildings–firefighters had to tear off the building’s front wall to prevent it from spreading.  Bachman says, “What we’re doing right now if you notice the front of that building’s about ready to fall down, what we have to do is we gotta get consumers in here to cut that line to that transformer up there so we can push that facade over and start dragging the antique cars out. When the cars come out we can get to the little pockets of fire in there to make sure it doesn’t burn again overnight.”

The fire’s cause is still unknown. The dollar amount in damage is still being determined.