(01/23/14) - The residents of a small Isabella County community will have to drive a little further to get groceries and diesel fuel for awhile.
The village of Rosebush lost its biggest store in a fire Wednesday night. The community, with a population of about 400, is about 10 miles north of Mt. Pleasant.
Not only will people have to drive a ways to get certain groceries, the fire chief has a bit of a problem on his hands, too.
"It's the icon of Rosebush," said Kay Anderson, of Delwin, which is just a few miles east of Rosebush.
Isabella Northeast Fire District chief, Matt Kampf, says his crews got to Baumann's Superette, also referred to as the IGA, in just a few minutes.
"It was really bad when we got here, this whole parking lot was so thick of smoke you couldn't walk in it," Kampf said.
Kampf believed two employees and two customers were in the store when they noticed smoke at the ceiling. They were able to get out and no one was hurt.
The chief called in seven other departments to battle the fire. Smoke was still smoldering several hours after the fire was put out. The store, which was a pole barn, is a complete loss.
"Baumann's have been here all my life," Kampf said.
"I always come in here to gas, groceries, if we need it," Anderson said. "Especially if the weather is bad, we get what we needed, we didn't have to go to Clare or Mt. Pleasant."
"It's a great loss for the community, and whatever the community can do to help Steve rebuild, we hope that happens," said Mary Shoen, of Delwin. Shoen is referring to Steve Baumann, who we could not reach for comment.
After putting out the fire, the village's third this month, Kampf realized he has another problem.
"This is where the fire department gets its fuel, so we cannot get diesel fuel in Rosebush now, we either have to go to Mt. Pleasant or Clare," he said.
A cause of the fire is not known, and the chief says its possible that with all the destruction, it might be difficult to find one.
ABC12 Main Station