A weekend fire destroyed a 100 year-old home in downtown Clare last Saturday morning.
According to Clare Fire Chief Jim Chapman, the house, a residence and business behind the Whitehouse Restaurant, located at 617 North McEwan Street, was a total loss with heavy smoke and water damage. The home and business are owned by Denise Jenks.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, although Chapman said he believes it was an electrical problem. The fire started in the kitchen area on the first floor and extended into the attic and through the roof, the chief said. “The fire spread that way because of the age of the home and the “balloon” type of construction where the framework extends from the first floor all the way to the roof without any fire stops.”
The Clare Fire Department responded to the call at 3:53 a.m. November 10. When firefighters arrived, flames and smoke could be seen coming from inside the building, the press release said. Firefighters were on the scene for about three and a half hours and were able to extinguish the fire with no injuries to any residents or emergency personnel. The fire quickly spread throughout the building. No other nearby structures were damaged as a result of the fire.
The Clare Fire Department was assisted by the Clare Police Department, Surrey Fire Department, Harrison Fire Department, Coleman Fire Department, Clare City Department of Public Works, Mobile Medical Response, and the American Red Cross.