Cavalier Bar fire leaves impact on community

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CORUNNA, Mich. (WJRT) - (07/12/18) - The effects of a fire that ripped through a downtown Corunna bar are still being felt. Some businesses that are adjoined to the Cavalier Bar were forced to close early Wednesday, but they reopened Thursday.

After losing a day of business the staff at Bombshell Ink was back on North Shiawassee Street cleaning up some minor smoke damage.

"We lost our power for safety reasons," said Jennifer Dankert.

Dankert owns the tattoo shop and says all they could do is watch as firefighters from at least seven different departments responded, tackling the fire from the air and the ground.

"It's sad. Such a piece of history," Dankert said.

"It's been here since I was a little kid. I was just shocked and when I came back we had to evacuate the building, power was out. Smoke was just awful," said Corunna Public Schools Superintendent John Fattal.

Fattal works right across the street. The fire causied brief interruptions in power at his office, the middle school and pool building. The road was closed at MacArthur and Shiawassee Thursday, and the county courthouse and offices were closed, too, because of technological issues related to the fire.

"It was an opera house Alan said," said Corunna resident Keith Johnson.

Johnson is known for keeping Corunna history. Thursday he looked back through some 400 postcards and old journals of Corunna to catch a glimpse of the building in a much different time.

"We know [it's been around since] about turn of the century. It was there anyway because of the pictures," Johnson said.

Besides being an opera house, he said his barber told him he's heard of people playing basketball on the second floor.

Michigan State Police investigators say the cause of the fire is undetermined but it's not suspicious.

Dankert is thankful her 6-year-old business was spared.

"I think that's due to the first responders, the firemen and women. I think they did an amazing job to make sure no one else did suffer," Dankert said.

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