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Neighbors lend help when fire breaks out at trucking company building in Alpine Twp.

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Posted at 3:43 PM, Nov 12, 2021

ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A trucking company that has called Alpine Township home for more than 20 years fell victim to a massive fire Thursday night that destroyed more than half of its building.

But neighbors around the longtime business came out to do what they could to help fight the fire as soon as flames erupted about 7 p.m.

It was a big fire inside a massive building at D&J Debski Trucking Company.

“It was already up into the rafters and starting the truck next to it on fire,” said Jeremy Kelly, deputy fire chief at the Alpine Township Fire Department. “So we did a quick attack with guns, just tried to get it under control.”

Alpine Township Fire would end up calling in eight other fire departments to help, concerned the tires and other chemicals inside the building could pose extra danger to crews.

“One of the big things, the doors were shut,” Kelly said. “There was only one door open, and that’s where the fire was, which helped airflow so the fire didn’t grow.”

But it wasn’t just firefighters’ hard work on scene that kept things from boiling over.

Neighbors and farmers from all over the area came over to help where they could, according to Ken Sokolowski of D&J Debski Trucking Company.

“Other trucking companies in the area that were showing up, helping those guys get their trucks out,” he said. “One of the guys around the corner had an excavator, he came with the excavator and started pulling some of the steel off so we could get to the fire quick enough.”

Others brought water and snacks.

“We love to see the support from the community,” Kelly said. “It’s really refreshing to see that they take time out of their day like we do to take care of each other.”

Though they had a lot of recover from, D&J had trucks back out on the roads Friday morning.

“Half of the building is in pretty rough shape,” Sokolowski said. “We’re trying to get half the building back up and usable.”