Charlevoix Fire

Fire in Charlevoix.  On Christmas Eve morning, Cherry Republic lost our Charlevoix store to an intense fire in the beautiful building we reside in.  No one was hurt.  We will be OK, but our hearts go out to our landlord, the 17 other tenants in his destroyed building and this close knit resort town which has had two major fires in six weeks.  Our President went to visit the store and here his blog about it.

This is photo shows what happens when you blend Christmas and Halloween together.  Yikes!  Fires seem so extra awful at Christmas.  Luckily, no one was hurt at this fire that destroyed our Charlevoix store on the morning of Christmas Eve.  This photo was taken early when the fire was in the back of the building.  The fire spread to the front before the firemen could put it out.

Here is a view of the store post fire from Main street.  That’s my partner and COO of Cherry Republic, Todd Ciolek checking it out with me three days later.  He is standing on a mess of broken glass and bricks and cherry products covering the sidewalks.  This sign sitting so strong on the burned out building shows that Cherry Republic will be fine through this setback.

The fire marshall has locked the entire building down until a cause has been identified.  The early feeling is that it started from a gas leak at the back of the building, pictured here.  They had to bring a crane in to break the waterproof and fireproof roof so they could get water into the building.  What’s left of the roof is piled up in the foreground, which means a long restoration project to rebuild.

You can see from the burned bricks coming out of the lower window that the first floor, which is our space, had some major flames coming out of it.

The windows are so covered in soot that you can’t really see into the building to see what survived.  I took this photo of the tins because that was all I could see, but I was surprised to find that this photo showed more in the background than what I could see with my naked eye.  

We were hoping to get inside to see what was salvageable and to see how long it would take to rebuild the store.  We will have to wait another week or two to see how much damage is there.  But if this photo of some of our products that were kicked outside by the firemen running in and out is any indication-- we should expect a total loss.


We picked up the safe from the fire department a few days after the fire.  The firemen grabbed it from the chaos and put it in a “safe” place-- in the basement of police HQ.  We are hosting the charred up safe at our Glen Arbor store over the weekend.  It is a nice conversation piece and gives another indication of what the contents of our store will look like.

There is beauty in the randomness of this tin dusted in ashes and snow.  Yiwei, our partner in Taiwan and China wrote a text to me saying that that this end of year fire would mean that Cherry Republic will be super hot and successful in 2017.