Wednesday, Oct 26, 2016
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Police & Fire

Investigation begins into devastating fire at Frenchtown Township greenhouse

MONROE -- Although the fire that destroyed much of a historic Frenchtown Township business is out, crews are still on scene today as an investigation into the fire's origin begins.

Frenchtown Township fire Chief Mark Nicholai said the fire at the North Monroe Greenhouse, 1818 N. Monroe St., was reported at 2:02 a.m. today with crews arriving on scene at 2:10 a.m.

WTVG Channel 13 video: North Monroe Greenhouse fire

When crews arrived, they found heavy smoke coming from the building and made "an aggressive interior attack, but the fire soon was "beyond their control capabilities with the hose line we had there," the chief said.

Crews were ordered out of the building and, about a minute later, the roof collapsed, Chief Nicholai said, adding that no injuries were reported.

The chief said it took about four hours to get the fire under control.

He estimated that the building is about a 75 percent loss, but said crews were able to stop fire from spreading beyond a firewall which would have likely taken out the rest of the building.

Fire investigators are on scene, but because of the extent of damage, they're unable to enter. Heavy equipment crews have been called in to cut down remaining walls to make navigating the scene safer.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined; Chief Nicholai said it could be several days, at least, before investigators know more about the cause.

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