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Firefighter discovers fire at local business

Firefighters work to put out a fire at RMS Refrigeration last Friday, August 3. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

The last thing Lt. Jason Clauser of the Algoma Fire Department expected to see when he crested the hill on White Creek Avenue between Russell Road and 14 Mile about 6:30 p.m. last Friday, August 3, was smoke and flames from a business there.

“It was kind of a unique situation,” he explained. “I was driving by and saw some black smoke and then saw flames from the east side of the building,” he said, referring to a storage facility used by RMS Refrigeration, an HVAC contractor at 11800 White Creek Avenue.

Clauser called it in, and was in charge at the scene when other units arrived. There were seven fire departments at the scene. Assisting Algoma was Cedar Springs Fire, Rockford Fire, Solon Fire, Grattan Fire, Courtland Fire, and Sparta Fire. Rockford Ambulance was also on scene if needed.

Clauser said the fire started on the east side and got up into the roof and rafters. “When it got into the ceiling it got into the insulation so we had to pull the ceiling down because the tiniest spark could cause it to rekindle,” he explained. They also had to tear off some of the siding from the outside.

The cause of the fire was undetermined.

After first arriving, Clauser said they cut open the door and were able to back out a work truck from the facility. “The owner was super grateful for that because it enabled his business to keep functioning,” he said.

Clauser said they cleared the scene by about 10 p.m.

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