Flames Rip Through Mio Flea Market

Nearly nothing left of a Northern Michigan indoor flea market.

Monday, a fire destroyed the building and jobs that depended on it.

The Mio Flea Market had been around for almost 20 years, now it’s gone.

The fire not only destroyed hundreds of thousands of items but also posed a risk to those trying to put it out.

The Mio Flea Market burned to the ground around 10:00 Monday morning in Oscoda County.

All that remains is twisted metal and ashes after the fire destroyed it from the inside out.

Many vendors relied on this place, saying it drew many people here from different parts of the state.

One of those vendors was inside when it started.

“Just in a panic. I thought about trying to grab a couple things, and we got a couple pictures of my mom out and that was it,” said Scott Streber.

A fire that began in the heart of the Mio Flea Market ripped the building down quickly.

Scott Streber, who owned Scott’s Rocks at the market, was inside.

 “Minutes. Minutes. Literally minutes. It was…when I saw that flame, it was on this side and I ran around the back of the building to come in and grab stuff,” said Streber. “That’s when it was already coming through that second wall.”

“A lot of people counted on this,” says Fire Chief Dave Stenzel. 

Tri-Town Fire Chief Dave Stenzel says this was one of the biggest fires for Mio.

It won’t easily be replaced.

“There’s not going to be a whole lot of traffic stopping here now this summer. I don’t know how long it is going to take them to rebuild, if they rebuild,” said Chief Stenzel. 

Laura Estep said, “We’ve been here for 18 years and this was our life. We just don’t know what to do next.”

Laura Estep owns the flea market with her husband.

While the market was insured — many vendors did not have insurance.

“Hopefully, everybody will be able to survive and come back better. I just don’t know where to go. I’m lost for words,” said Estep.

She says it will take a long time to get the market back on its feet.

“We can just keep going, one foot at a time. One day at a time. Do what we can when it’s available,” says Estep.

The fire marshal is still on scene looking into what could have started this fire.

All we know now is it started somewhere inside.