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Charlevoix Businesses Pulling Together After Downtown Fire

Promo Image: Charlevoix Businesses Pulling Together After Downtown Fire

A beautiful building and thriving business, destroyed.

A fire ripped through it on Christmas Eve.

This is the second fire in downtown Charlevoix in just over a month.

Several businesses are either damaged or destroyed.

Saturday morning, the Cherry Republic building in downtown Charlevoix caught fire.

The cause is still being investigated.

Video shows the flames and smoke tearing through the roof and windows.

The Charlevoix Assistant Fire Chief says they had to return to the scene Sunday morning when the fire rekindled.

9&10’s Caroline Powers and photojournalist Jeremy Erickson continue our coverage on how the community is pulling together.

“Definitely shock,” says Kirk Ikens. “To see the flames pouring over the back of the building.”

Kirk Ikens drove up to a scene full of fire and smoke early Christmas Eve morning.

His restaurant, Town House Bar, is two doors down from Cherry Republic.

‘With all the buildings basically being connected, there is a worry of that spreading to more than what it did,” Ikens says.

Ikens was the first person on scene as fire crews started battling the flames.

“They actually had a fire truck parked on the far end of the alley back to the south of us,” says Ikens. “Trying to actually shoot water over the top of our building and onto the immediate fire and into this whole general location that’s burned out ahead of us.”

The Charlevoix Fire Chief says the fire started at the back, spreading to the whole building.

“You would think it was a war zone. Just the smoke and flames just roaring off the top of the building with that even continuing until 8-9 o’clock on the morning,” Ikens says.

Cherry Republic and the offices upstairs are destroyed.

But several other businesses nearby are also left with smoke and water damage.

“The character of our downtown has taken a hit,” says Luther Kurtz, Mayor of Charlevoix. “Especially Fred DiMartino and his building there, this most recent fire that’s an amazing historic building there and so it’s a sad loss. We don’t know exactly how it’s going to turn out yet.”

But the recent fires aren’t dampening the community spirit in downtown Charlevoix.

“It is a close knit community. We want everyone to succeed in town,” Ikens says. “I think everyone rallying together, it’s the benefits of being in a small town community.”