Fires badly damages car dealership, owners hope to be back in business soon

GRATIOT COUNTY (WJRT) - (11/05/18) - A weekend fire badly damaged a Gratiot County car dealership.

At least five fire departments were called in to help battle the fire at Alma Chrysler Dodge Jeep Saturday afternoon. Firefighters didn't leave until early Sunday morning.

The dealership sits along M-46 near U.S. 127.

It appears the fire started in back half of the building and spread. On Monday we were not able to reach the St. Louis Area Fire Department to find out if they've determined what sparked the fire.

The dealership's owners, Scooter and Jill Malloy, shared this message on Facebook thanking the people who pitched in:

"There are not enough words to thank all the community firefighters and first responders that worked so hard to put the fire out and make sure nobody was seriously injured in the devastating fire at our dealership last night. The firefighters of the St Louis Area Fire Department were assisted by firefighters from Alma, Ithaca, Breckenridge/Wheeler, and Shepherd departments. The Gratiot County Sheriff's Department helped to control traffic and MMR Ambulance was also onsite in case of any injuries. It was a long, cold, and very dangerous fire, so thank you, thank you, thank you.

We would also like to the Petticoat Junction restaurant for bringing hot coffee and food, Main Street Pizza for bringing food, Richter Auto sales for the warm clothes, boxes, friendship and support, Dun Good Auto Detailing for the hot chocolate, flashlights, and support, and whomever brought the Tim Hortons donuts and coffee. Our little communities are amazing.

Many have asked what will happen next and what will happen with our great team members. We have a lot of unknowns right now, but please know our entire staff will be taken care of during this time of rebuild. They are the core of what makes our business so special. Most were with us last night and that says a lot about who they are and who we all are as a team. We are working to get temporary accommodations for all our departments until we can get the building rebuilt. We do not yet know what this means but will continue to post updates as we know them. We hope to be up and running very quickly.

Thank you for all the kind words and offers of help. We are humbled."

Joshua Marthe, a shift supervisor at Main Street Pizza, said it's just what small towns do.

"That's just what we do in this community, is when anybody's in trouble and anybody needs something done, that's just what we do together. So for us it was a no brainer," Marthe said. "They're in a tough spot, you know, so our thoughts and prayers are with them as they rebuild."

We did communicate with Jill Malloy late Monday afternoon. She said they hope to have a sales trailer to work out of soon, and ask that people keep up with their Facebook page for updates.

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