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Authorities treating fire site as a crime scene in UP town

(Garrett Neese/The Daily Mining Gazette via AP)
Associated Press


State and federal authorities are pitching in as investigators try to determine the cause of a fire that destroyed three buildings in the historic downtown of an Upper Peninsula village.

Investigators in Calumet were treating it as a crime scene, The Daily Mining Gazette reported.

The fire was reported late Friday and stretched into Saturday. It destroyed apartments, a laundromat, a former restaurant and a former tattoo shop. An estimated 20 to 30 people were displaced.

“The wind definitely didn’t help. ... The buildings are so close together. Once it started, there wasn’t much to stop it,” Fire Chief Jeff Kalcich said.

Calumet is in Houghton County, 275 miles northwest of the Mackinac Bridge.

“It’s hard to lose any building, and to lose three of them is pretty tough,” Kalcich said. “It could have been a lot worse, but I was hoping for a lot better.”

The village council scheduled a meeting Monday to discuss the next steps.

“The loss of three buildings in our historic district has been heartbreaking and it’s hard to imagine the 100 Block without them,” the village said on Facebook. “However, we hope to see this loss as an opportunity for redevelopment.”

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