Fire Destroys DeWitt Twp. Home Center Warehouse

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

Fire destroyed most of the warehouse of a home furnishing store in Clinton County on Thursday night.

The Clinton Home Center in DeWitt Township went up in flames around 7:00 p.m.

The store was closed at the time the fire started, and no employees were on site. They got the call around 7:15, and watched as firefighters put out the flames, but they couldn't believe their eyes.

"I feel like I'm going to wake up and it's all going to be a dream, a nightmare," employee Kelly Kolk said.

About 60 firefighters from at least four different fire departments helped battle the fire, including Bath Township and East Lansing Fire Deparments. It took over an hour to contain the fire.

"The whole warehouse is completely destroyed.," DeWitt Township Fire Chief Frederick Koos said. "We've saved the computer records for the owner, and we so far have managed to salvage the showroom."

That's a little hope for the owner, who employees said was celebrating his 40th wedding anniversary. He didn't even know what happened until around 8:30 p.m. when an employee finally reached him. The fire chief believes the fire started outside of the building.

"In the back southwest corner, there was a pile of pallets, and the police department on scene said those pallets were on fire," Koos said. "So, I'm assuming at this time, it probably started in that area."

Many community members gathered on the scene, and they're already feeling the impact.

"It has great customer service, and I personally send people here, and I feel really bad," Loretta Spinrad said. "It's really nice to have a hometown business that cares about hometown things. And it's just, it's horrible."

Employees said those things won't go away anytime soon. They're meeting in the morning to discuss a temporary set up.

"We are here. We're going to conduct business as normal as we can, and we'll take care of our customers," Kolk said. "It's going to be a hard road, but we will pick up the pieces and try to move forward."

Firefighters helped the employees retrieve their office supplies. Most of the carpets and other flooring materials are destroyed.

A nearby apartment building sustained a little water damage.

The fire department will continue to monitor the building for hot spots and investigate the cause of the fire.


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