Firefighters extinguish blaze at Shelby Township gun shop

By: Sarah Wojcik | Shelby - Utica News | Published March 15, 2017

 A Shelby Township Fire Department ladder truck accesses Silent Scope Firearms, located near Hayes Road and Lakeside Boulevard. Crews extinguished a blaze in the business that was reported at approximately 8:30 a.m. March 15.

A Shelby Township Fire Department ladder truck accesses Silent Scope Firearms, located near Hayes Road and Lakeside Boulevard. Crews extinguished a blaze in the business that was reported at approximately 8:30 a.m. March 15.

Photo provided by Michigan by the Bottle owner Cortney Casey

At approximately 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 15, the Shelby Township Fire Department responded to a structure fire at a strip mall near Hayes Road and Lakeside Boulevard.

Battalion Chief John McCoy said the fire originated in and was contained to Silent Scope Firearms, but adjacent businesses Michigan by the Bottle, Cruise Holidays and Casablanca Hookah Lounge also sustained smoke damage.

McCoy said fire crews had the blaze under control by 9:30 a.m. He said the fire extensively damaged Silent Scope Firearms and that the cause and origin of the fire were still under investigation.

“Obviously, the weather was a part of the variables — it was so cold and it was so windy — but there were no injuries. Nobody was in the business that was on fire,” he said. “A fire causes so much damage, the heat and the smoke.”

He said crews had to bust in the front door of the gun shop, not only to ventilate the inside of the business, but also to access the fire, and that the fire spread to the roof, so firefighters had to cut part of the roof away to confirm that all of the flames were out.

“I know the (business owners’) biggest concern was their computer,” McCoy said. He added that the computer was damaged, but expressed hope that the stored information could be retrieved.

Michigan by the Bottle owner Cortney Casey said that while she was on her way to work out across the street, she got a call from her friend and owner of The Clean Plate, Amber Poupore, notifying her that the building was on fire.

She said the preliminary signs had been there — the motion sensor activated, the camera footage appeared hazy and then ceased to work — but she chalked it up to technological malfunction.

“I freaked out,” she said. “Needless to say, I didn’t go to boxing.”

She said she arrived, after the blaze had been extinguished, to a scene rife with emergency vehicles. Ultimately, she said, smoke damage and a collapsed women’s bathroom ceiling were the worst part of the damage to Michigan by the Bottle.

“We’re very grateful for the Shelby Township Fire Department. They were on the scene quickly, and I’m sure it’s thanks to their fast action that we didn’t suffer more damage than we did,” Casey said. “We’re really lucky. It could have been worse.”

Casey said she was hopeful that the wine tasting room would reopen by Saturday.

Several other businesses remained closed March 15 due to the fire, including Slagle Family Wellness Center, located two doors down from Michigan by the Bottle.

Poupore said The Clean Plate, located at the very front of the strip mall, opened at approximately 1:30 p.m. instead of its regular time at 11 a.m. March 15 due to carbon monoxide levels and a lingering smoke smell.

She said her staff arrived before 8 a.m. to prepare for the day and smelled something burning, but initially they thought it was coming from the restaurant’s kitchen. Employees called 911 and exited the building when they discovered the hallway connecting the businesses in the strip mall was filled with smoke.

“The Fire Department was so awesome,” Poupore said. “They worked so hard and were so brave and got everything under control.”

After crews quelled the fire and word got around that no one had been injured, she said, the mood turned more lighthearted and many police and fire first responders accepted her invitation to have a hot cup of coffee at The Clean Plate.