Downtown Charlevoix Business Destroyed By Fire

A downtown Charlevoix business destroyed by a fire, a month after flames shut the doors of several other stores nearby.

It started early Saturday morning when a nearby police officer saw flames coming out of Cherry Republic.

9&10’s Taylor Jones was at the scene Saturday and brings us more details on how this impacts the community.

“It kind of saddens you, especially this time of year,” says Jim Julian, a Charlevoix community member.

Another community tragedy and another business fire, this time, downtown Charlevoix’s Cherry Republic.

This, just over a month after several other shops were destroyed down the street.

“With this fire and the one here about a month ago, we’re having a Michigan State Fire Marshall in here and they are conducting their investigations,” says Chief Gerard Doan, Charlevoix Fire Department.

The Charlevoix fire chief says the fire started in the back of the building.

It was difficult to put out because of the design of the roof.

Even with seven departments on scene, it took several hours to stop.

“The fire was underneath the roof and there was a rubber membrane on top of the roof, so while that fire was burning and we were trying to put water on it, we couldn’t get the water to the affected area,” says Doan.

No one was inside or hurt.

Chief Doan says the cause is unknown and cannot say whether it’s suspicious or not, leaving a community with questions.

“It’s becoming a little fishy, the way I look at it because you know, we just had a couple fires right down the road,” says Julian.

Firefighters say the building is a total loss and other businesses nearby are suffering from smoke damage.

Color Wear across the street says that smoke has left their clothes unsellable.

“The store was filled with smoke, there was still quite a bit of smoke and everything going on out there and it’s actually quite devastating. I’m a third year owner, just trying to get this off the ground and something like this happening to me right now, it’s kind of overwhelming,” says Debbie Angermuller, Color Wear owner.

Despite the devastation, the community is staying strong.

"That’s what we do here, that’s what Charlevoix is. We join and help each other, give hugs and pats on the back. Let’s be honest, these guys out here once again saving our little town, they are our superheroes,” says Angermuller.