Holly businesses trying to recover from devastating fire

The city of Holly is rebuilding after a fire raged through the downtown area, burning several...
The city of Holly is rebuilding after a fire raged through the downtown area, burning several businesses.(WNEM)
Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 6:37 PM EDT
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HOLLY, Mich. (WNEM) - The city of Holly is rebuilding after a fire raged through the downtown area, burning several businesses.

The fire damaged several businesses including the historic Holly Hotel. Business owners say dealing with the aftermath has been difficult.

“We were using one cell phone, couldn’t keep up on customer orders,” said Jim Austin, owner of Iron Wood Refinery.

Two weeks after a devastating fire destroyed the Battle Alley Arcade and Antiques Mall, surrounding businesses are still dealing with the aftermath of the fire.

“We can’t have customers coming in and shopping,” said Lyn Smith with Natures Bath and Body. “We’ve had to close our online shop temporarily until further notice.”

Businesses had been without power and internet services since the fire and in an age of technology not being able to take orders from their online business has hit them hard.

Some are reporting that they have lost about 50% of their business.

“Normally $1,500 to $2,500 a day, sales went down to $200,” Austin said.

The fire not only affected sales but also damaged equipment.

“The restaurant up the street, all of their coolers, freezers and their air conditioning system were three-phase, and a huge shock of power went up through the system and burnout all those units,” Austin said.

While they work to get back to business as usual, everything is up in the air as they deal with insurance companies, but they are hopeful that everything will work out and customers will be able to return soon.

“We have a loyal customer base, and you know, everybody down here kind of supports everybody so not too worried about that,” Smith said.

Not only have neighboring businesses been affected by the fire, but also residents that live above Nature’s Bath and Body have been displaced since the fire.