The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Fire investigation ongoing


August 13, 2019

Tom LaVenture/Daily Globe

A truck from OHM Advancing Communities, an architectural, engineering and planning firm, is parked in front of the Pines Restaurant on Monday at 120 S. Suffolk Street in Ironwood. An apartment fire above the restaurant led to a collapsed ceiling into the restaurant, displacing at least one renter and closing the restaurant indefinitely.


Ironwood - Inspections and investigations are ongoing regarding the Sunday fire that damaged two second floor apartments and the Pines Restaurant below at 120 S. Suffolk.

Ironwood Public Safety said the investigation is ongoing and there was no new information to provide on Monday.

"Everything is still under investigation," said Susan Graumann, co-owner of the restaurant with Janice Miskovich. "We will not know anything until the investigation is complete."

Graumann said the insurance investigator will be on site Tuesday. There are also other inspections that will need to be done prior to their cleanup work to start, she said.

Miskovich, co-owner, said Sunday that the fire, smoke and water damage from the upstairs apartment caused the ceiling to collapse onto the restaurant below. The restaurant had closed at 3 p.m., and the fire was called in at 5:35 p.m., according to Ironwood Public Safety.

Hurley Fire Department responded to assist Ironwood Public Safety. The fire was reported to be contained by 5:55 p.m.

A woman on the scene was transported by Beacon Ambulance Service to Aspirus-Ironwood to be treated for smoke inhalation. The restaurant owners said the woman's husband was renting the front apartment and was not at home at the time of the fire. The owners did not say if the second apartment was being rented.

The U.P. Disaster Program of the American Red Cross could not be reached for comment on whether any residents were receiving services on Monday.

The Northwind Co-Op, a natural foods store next store to the restaurant, was not open on Sunday, said Vivian Gammill, a store employee working on Monday. The store smelled of smoke in the morning but it was cleared out with the doors and ventilation and more extensive cleaning was not necessary.

There was no damage to the store products, she said.

"Everything's good, thank goodness," Gammill said.

There is no apparent physical damage to the co-op's exterior but the walls are close enough that it will require the fire inspection to determine if there was any damage, she said.

"So far as we know there's not any other damage," she said.

Gammill said she was driving nearby and saw the flames coming out of the apartment window on Sunday. "I thought, God this is terrible," she said.

There are four employees and a lot of regular customers who need to travel a great deal for some of the vegan and organic products in the store, she said.

Scott Erickson, Ironwood city manager, at the commission meeting Monday commended Ironwood Public Safety, Hurley Fire Department, Michigan State Police, Gogebic County Sheriff's Office and other agencies from the four area counties. The departments of small communities all respond quickly to support each other and should be recognized for helping save a downtown building, he said.

"It was a job well done," he said.


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