M-37 in Traverse City Back Open After Fire At Gene’s Auto Parts

A smoldering scene as smoke fills the sky in Grand Traverse County.

An auto shop is destroyed.

Northern Michigan’s News Leader has been on the scene all day, working to bring you the latest details on this fire.

Firefighters tell us this is one of the biggest fires they’ve seen.

The chief says the fire started Friday morning in the back tear door room of Gene’s Auto Shop along M-37 in Grand Traverse County.

The building was spewing thick black smoke.

Crews have since been able to get a much better handle on the fire, and are now checking hotspots.

The fire chief tells us they were called out to Gene’s Auto Parts just after 11:30.

A firefighter was taken to the hospital for precaution after falling.

Employees were inside at the time, but everyone was able to make it out safely

They say the fire started in the back tear down room and quickly spread to the warehouse.

Within an hour, flames began taking over the roof, as airbags and supplies inside began to pop.

“The amount of space that’s inside, the amount of open space with little compartments to get around in is very difficult to operate in. And the thick black smoke. It’s not so much the heat, it’s the thick black smoke. You just don’t know where you’re going. It’s just too dangerous to be inside at that point,” says Blair Township Fire Chief Jim Carroll.

At this time fire crews still don’t know the cause of the fire.

They also don’t believe it will spread to any nearby buildings.