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Large Fire Guts Building In Downtown Lapeer

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(Credit: Ron Dewey/WWJ  Newsradio 950)

(Credit: Ron Dewey/WWJ Newsradio 950)

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LAPEER (WWJ) – A fire in Lapeer has caused major damage to several businesses in the downtown area of the city.

Officials say the fire started around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at an apartment building along West Nepessing Street, between Pine Street and North Court Street, in the heart of Lapeer.

About 15 to 20 residents have been displaced, but no one was hurt. Mayor Bill Sprague told WWJ Newsradio 950 the quick-moving fire caused significant damage.

“Right now it appears as though at least two businesses may be impacted by smoke and/or water damage, that is Berg’s Flowers and the Speedy Print Shop, but we’re not sure yet until we can get in there and assess the situation,” he said.

Sprague said this is an older part of town, but still very important to the business district.

“It’s a historic section of downtown Lapeer, so the building are almost all 100 years old and its very similar to what you think about in the old times where the bottom floor would be retail or office space,” he said.

Sprague said it appears the historic PIX theatre, built in 1914, and the art museum were spared from the brunt of the damage.

Seven neighboring fire departments responded to help crews from Lapeer battle the blaze.

Investigators are now trying to determine a cause of a fire, with some speculating that it might have been arson.

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