Cheboygan Otsego Presque Isle ESD Destroyed in Fire; Superintendent Plans for Monday

“Very grateful on behalf of our organization for the volunteer firefighters and first responders.”

A Northern Michigan ESD, an important resource for three local school districts, is now a pile of rubble. Friday night we told you a fire started at the Cheboygan Otsego Presque Isle Educational Service District.

The building is a shared office space, serving 23 schools in the three counties. That fire started just before 10 p.m. Friday.

Five departments worked together to battle the flames for more than two hours.

The assistant fire chief for the Tuscarora Township Fire Department tells us that the building is destroyed.

“Everything but the cape. Watching them work. Just can’t thank them enough for all that they did,” says superintendent of COPESD, Jamie Huber.

Superheros: that’s what the firefighters who battled the flames are being called.

“I was impressed with how fast they responded,” Shari Temple said.

Shari Temple says the orange glow was captivating.

“We saw the flames going up almost as tall as the trees.”

But what wowed her the most; the firefighters’ team work.

“I was an awe just watching them coordinate and just maneuvering together. I was able to get my son to come out and see real life superheros,” Temple said.

Both Shari and superintendent Jamie Huber agree, what really matters is no one was hurt.

“Perspective is important and building and contents can ultimately be replaced. It could’ve been much worse,” Huber said.

The fire is causing about two dozen employees to move, but everyone will still have a job to do.

“We’ve been able to put together a plan for Monday that will keep us from impacting the service we provide to students and also afford our employees to work on Monday.”

He says the support he’s received is tremendous.

“We can move forward and ultimately build and grow from this loss.”

Fire crews do not know the cause at this time and tell us someone will be back on site to investigate on Monday.