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“It’s like a kick in the teeth:” Grasmeyer Gun Shop owner hopes to rebuild after devastating fire

Posted at 9:45 PM, Jul 31, 2018

DALTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- After a devastating fire destroyed Grasmeyer Brothers Gun Shop in Muskegon County, the owner is speaking to Fox 17.

The Grasmeyer family has spoken to Fox 17 in the past about the uphill battle they've faced with the township for a shooting range behind the shop. After getting that straightened out and renovating the building, a fire destroyed everything. The owner, Lee Grasmeyer, has even more on his plate than that.

Grasmeyer says there were two fires at the shop that day: one started on a work bench around 3:00 p.m., which was put out, but then another started in the same area a few hours later. “There was smoke billowing out, and when we got back for the second fire, it was just out of control right through the top," said Lee Grasmeyer. "When I got here, I was trying to break in to save whatever I could."

Nobody was hurt, but everything inside is gone.

“I just want to get things rebuilt, because it’s kind of a downer for the whole family,"said Grasmeyer, "and hopefully the community knows that our goal is to be back in here, because we’re part of it."

Grasmeyer opened the shop in 2012. He has since battled with Dalton Township officials over the shooting range in the back and put thousands of dollars into renovations.

“That’s one of the hard parts is we really put a lot into it, just to have it within a couple weeks be gone. We were kind of left in shock," said Grasmeyer. “A lot of that is my blood, sweat and tears that are poured into it. Then to have this happen a few days later, it’s almost like a kick in the teeth.”

Grasmeyer has been battling leukemia since last summer. He says it’s hard being in a situation where he needs help since, he’s usually the one helping others.

“Hopefully we can get it all together," said Grasmeyer. "It's exactly what the community would want.”

Grasmeyer hopes to start cleaning up by the end of the week and eventually rebuild.

"It’s the legacy that my kids get to see, and we’re giving back," said Grasmeyer.

About a dozen different agencies throughout Muskegon County responded to the fire on Wednesday, where smoke could be seen for miles.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, and officials are unsure if it's related to the fire earlier in the day.

Sgt. Nick Benjamin, the special fire investigator for the Michigan State Police, says he hopes to finish the investigation by the end of the week.