By Pat Maurer
A landmark in Harrison for more than 30 years, the Remedy Restaurant, owned by Dennis and Karen Douglass, was destroyed in an early morning fire April 2.
The fire call came in at 3:13 a.m. Tuesday, said Harrison Fire Chief Pat Agin later in the morning. Firemen fought for over an hour to bring the blaze under control and were on the scene until 7:30 a.m.
“The cause and where the fire originated in the building is under investigation by Clare County Fire Investigator Detective Mike Coon,” Agin said Tuesday morning. “We don’t believe it was suspicious.” He said no one was in the building at the time, and no one was injured fighting the fire.
An update from the Sheriff’s Department later Tuesday said the cause of the fire was “an electrical malfunction o the exterior of the restaurant.” The investigation was handled by the CCSD Fire Investigator with the help of the Harrison Fire Department.
Harrison resident and former employee Angel Mashue posted on Facebook, “This is so sad. My family started coming up to the Harrison area in 1980, moving up here in 1982. It was a small, small restaurant at the time, it was Karen who was back in the kitchen cooking the food. I have so many memories of that place. Karen Douglass was always there for my family. It was my first job. It was a place to call home. After having my daughter Baylee, it was the first place we stopped before taking her home. My Mom never missed coffee there, morning, noon and night. Many of my family memories were made there, many meals were had there. The Remedy will always be a part of my life.”
Denny Douglass said Wednesday afternoon that he didn’t know what they will do. “The insurance is still looking at it and we aren’t sure what will happen next.” He said he had owned the restaurant for 32 years and renovated it several times, but that it was there much longer than that. “I built and renovated that whole building,” he said. “It was awful watching it burn.” He said he is usually there at night, but was out of town. “I’m lucky, I probably would have died in the fire if I had been there,” he said.
Douglass said the building seated 89 people and was last renovated around five years ago.
The Harrison Department was assisted at the scene by Clare Fire Department, Gladwin Fire Department, Mobile Medical Response, the Harrison Department of Public Works, and the Clare County Sheriff’s Department and the CCSD Reserves.