Fire Destroys Two Businesses, Badly Damages a Third in Colon

Posted at 11:25 PM, Mar 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-08 23:44:42-05

COLON, Mich. — A fire destroyed businesses in Colon’s downtown district.

It started Friday morning around 10 am.

It even caused local schools to close early, as firefighters faced a water shortage.

Crews were on the scene for more than 12 hours fighting hot spots. Two businesses were destroyed, and a third was badly damaged.

Tom Tenney is the village president and a lifelong resident of Colon.

“This is a devastating blow to Colon. [It’s] a tremendously devastating blow,” Tenney said.

He was just down the street when he heard about thick black smoke pouring out of Curly’s Bar.

FOX 17 spoke with the family who owns the bar. The mother and son were inside when it started.

They made it out. The flames spread so quickly, there was little firefighters could do to save the buildings.

“I feel sorry for the owners; Cathy and Dan Earl are wondering people,” Tenney said.

He added, “They do a lot for our community. Five Star Pizza does a lot for our community and prudential just opened up in our community. So to lose three businesses, it’s huge.”

Lifelong resident Chelsea Kubasiak said, “It doesn’t seem like that long ago, that the old theatre burnt down, the citizens bank. So it just feels, just sad. because all these buildings in town are really historical. so it’s just sad for the whole town.”

Colon’s Fire Chief Matt Overholt says 10 area fire departments responded, attacking the flames from both sides of the building.

Crews tackled hot spots all day.

FOX 17 watched as excavators tore down the top of the building, to eliminate a hazard and expose hot spots. “What a loss, what a loss,” Tenney said.

“I truly hope there’s some way they can rebuild. That five star pizza can rebuild, that Curly’s and Mancino’s Pizza can rebuild. Prudential can come back and we can rebuild our community. But you know, after something like this it’s going to be a long haul,” he said.

The owner of the bar is obviously very upset, but he told FOX 17 he’s glad his wife and son made it out safely. No injuries were reported.

Monday is the earliest the fire marshal can go into the building to investigate a cause.