Bystanders watched firefighters from Gobles and nine other area departments try to contain the fire that destroyed Jan's Trailside Cafe, CCC Bait & Tackle and the Jan's Oasis ice cream parlor in the northeastern Van Buren County community.
As Friday night turned into Saturday morning, two ladder trucks were battling the fire from the air, as several crews worked to contain the fire from the ground.
“The challenges that we had we really couldn’t get inside we had to fight the fire from outside because it was so fully involved.” Gobles Fire Chief Pat Wioskowski told FOX 17.
No injuries were reported.
The fire debris continued to smolder and the Gobles Fire Department remained on the scene Saturday afternoon extinguishing hot spots.
“It’s just absolutely devastating that Jan won’t be there anymore we would go over there at lunchtime when I worked at the drug store.” Jan Lienemann said. “Come down to the bait shop and pick up what my husband needed for fishing after work and that’s just what we did; they were like the main stay of the town that whole block.” She added.
CCC Bait & Tackle was owned by Don Smith, who retired from Verizon and started the business as a hobby. He is on the fire board and his two sons are firefighters who helped battle the overnight flames.
When asked what next he said is, “Don’t know, I guess we’ll have to sit down and figure that out I guess.” He went on to say, “I hate to see it go away from the community there’s no other bait and tackle store without driving 15 to 20 miles around here.”
Smith said he was able to get his computers out of the business before it was destroyed.
Watch FOX 17 NEWS AT TEN tonight for video and complete details.