LYON TWP. (WWJ) – Authorities are investigating after a motorcycle club headquarters in southwestern Oakland County went up in flames.
The fire broke out early Friday morning at the Scorpions Motorcycle Club on Milford Road, just north of 11 Mile Road in Lyon Township, and quickly consumed the building.
It appears the fire started in an addition to a clubhouse and officials say it may have been set intentionally, possibly to cover up a crime — a stolen Bobcat tractor was used to access a safe inside the building, according to police.
“It’s suspicious. At this time it appears somebody broke into the clubhouse, gained entry to the safe,” Lt. Mark Venus told WWJ’s Vickie Thomas. “So obviously the motive was to steal some money.”
The suspect or suspects did get into the safe but it’s unclear what, if anything, was taken.
“No doubt, I believe that whoever is responsible for this knew that the safe was there,” said Venus. “It is very sad.”
A cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Crews from South Lyon assisted Lyon Township firefighters at the scene.
No injuries were reported; one firefighter was treated at the scene for exhaustion.
The building is a total loss.
“This club has been here for many years,” said Venus. “These guys, I’ve been assigned out here since 2007 and we have not had one problem with any of these guys. They’re very respectful of the neighbors. When they have their get togethers, they’re very conscious of the sound. So no, they’re not a problem. So it is disturbing, because they do help out with community things, too. It’s a shame that this had to happen to them.”
Milford Road was closed between 11 Mile and 12 Mile roads for several hours, but has since reopened.
This is the second fire at a motorcycle clubhouse in metro Detroit this week. On Tuesday, an explosion occurred at the Street Royalty Motorcycle Club at Dexter Avenue and Webb Street, on Detroit’s west side, leveling the building. Authorities say the cause of the explosion appears to be suspicious and may have been set deliberately.
Investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are assisting police with both investigations. Venus said it’s possible the two incidents could be connected, but not likely.
“At this time, it’s really hard to say. It certainly raises an eyebrow, so we will definitely be looking into that,” he said. “But at this time, it’s really too early to tell if there is anything related or if it was just a coincidence.”