FRENCHTOWN TWP. (WWJ) – Investigators are trying to figure out what caused a fire that destroyed a landmark business in Monroe County.
Firefighters from five departments were called out to North Monroe Greenhouses on Monroe Street in Frenchtown Township just after 2 a.m. Thursday.
“Our crews went in and began attacking it, but then the fire became untenable and they had to get out,” Frenchtown Fire Chief Mark Nicholai told The Monroe Evening News. “By the time they got out, the whole roof caved in.”
Heavy machinery is being brought to the scene to clear debris and allow firefighters to pour water on smoldering debris trapped underneath the collapsed roof.
No injuries were reported but a majority of the business was destroyed in the blaze, which left only the walls of the store and some small greenhouses at the rear of the property in tact. Officials say 75 percent of the building is a total loss.
Nicholai said it wasn’t clear what caused the fire, but it seemed to begin in a northwest section of the building.
The business was founded in 1937 as a one-acre flower and vegetable stand, and over time grew into a into full-service florist, landscaping and garden center.
An investigation is ongoing. Firefighters will likely remain on the scene all day Thursday.
A witness captured footage of the fire that was later posted to YouTube: