Court cases impacted after fire at Genesee Co. Circuit Courthouse closes building through Wednesday

The extent of the damage and cause of the fire are still unknown.
Published: Sep. 6, 2021 at 6:01 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - A fire inside Genesee County’s Circuit Courthouse in downtown Flint is closing the building through at least Wednesday.

A social media post from the County said the fire happened Saturday.

Two floors sustained damage, but the extent of that damage and the cause of the fire are still unknown.

Due to the holiday weekend, the people who work inside the building have not had the opportunity to go in and assess what’s lost.

They should be back in Tuesday to start that process. That’s also when the County’s Director of Administration, Josh Freeman, said the Fire Marshall will inspect the cause.

The fire started on the second floor, the northeast corner facing Saginaw Street in downtown Flint.

It was contained to the Vital Records area of the Clerk’s Office. That’s where you’d get your marriage license, birth certificate, those types of records.

The County shared several photos of the aftermath, showing multiple computers that appear damaged, like they caught fire.

Freeman explained that any information from those devices is stored on one main server. So he’s not expecting any issues there.

Problems could arise when it comes to what any employees had on their desks. Personal items are likely damaged, but the County is also questioning if any documents were left out over the holiday weekend.

The sprinklers in the building did turn on, working to put the fire out. That also means there’s water damage throughout the second floor.

And, Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said that water seeped through the second floor down into 4 to 6 of his assistant prosecutors’ offices located on the first floor.

Prosecutor Leyton said this complicates their main concern of working through the backlog of cases caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

So he is concerned, but Leyton said until they’re allowed back in on Tuesday, they won’t know the real impact.

While the building should re-open to the public Wednesday, Leyton said he’s not sure when circuit court cases will resume. He believes there’s smoke damage throughout the building.

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