Grayling community rallies behind residents who lived in apartment units destroyed by fire
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
The Grayling community is rallying around residents displaced after a huge fire, which destroyed an apartment complex on Friday, March 1.
Just prior to 1 a.m., the Crawford County Central Dispatch received a report of a fire at Arbor Court Apartments located at 400 Madsen Street in the City of Grayling.
Upon arrival, Crawford County Sheriff’s Deputies discovered an active fire, notified dispatch of the status, and began assisting with evacuation of the building.
Firefighters arrived to find the east end of the complex involved in heavy fire. Firefighters were able to control the fire from spreading into the west end of the building at a fire wall in the center of the complex.
Although some of the apartments on the west end of the complex suffered water and smoke damage, they were saved. Out of the 16 apartments, eight were a complete loss.
There were no injuries or fatalities due to the fire, although at least one resident suffered minor injuries during the evacuation; however, multiple pets perished in the fire.
The Grayling Fire Department responded along with surrounding agencies including the Crawford Country Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police, Mobile Medical Response Ambulance Service, South Branch Fire Department, Beaver Creek Fire Department, and the Frederic Fire Department.
Grayling City Police and the Michigan State Fire Marshal’s Office are currently working together to determine the cause. The investigation was still ongoing on Monday, March 4, said Jenny Maples, the public information officer for Grayling Department of Public Safety.
The Red Cross issued temporary housing vouchers to residents to stay at the Ramada Inn-Grayling.
The Grayling Baptist Church, 705 Madsen Street, is serving as a hub for financial donations as well as for donated clothing and blankets.
Pastor Dave Longstaff, from Grayling Baptist Church, said church volunteers were able to assist 10 families with clothing and financial support.
“That was just tremendous,” Longstaff said. “I think for the most part, people have got to where they are pretty straightened away.”
In addition, the Bob Evans Restaurant in Gaylord provided a chicken dinner for residents of the apartment building as well as firefighters and other first responders. The dinner was served at the church on Sunday, March 3.
“It was a really good turnout and everybody was appreciative,” Longstaff said.
The Crawford County Community Christian Help Center has also volunteered to work with the residents.
Cindy Hummel, director of Crawford County Community Christian Help Center, said volunteers took some granola bars to residents displaced by the fire.
Meanwhile, the food pantry is gearing up to have extra food on hand, when the residents have established permanent housing, along with the agency’s regular clients.
“We definitely are going to be there when the time comes for when they need food,” Hummel said.
Contact Pastor Longstaff for information at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (906) 221-7464, while the food pantry can be reached at (989) 348-6046 for more information.
Arbor Court is owned by GLD Management based in Gladwin. It was built in 1994 by DeShano Construction, a company which owns hundreds of apartment complexes located throughout the Midwest.
Arbor Court is subsidized for low to moderate income households.