Major fire in Stephenson destroys 4 apartments in a residential-commercial building

STEPHENSON, MI. (WBAY) – On Wednesday, Dec. 6, a major fire started at a building known as “the Solander building” in downtown Stephenson, Michigan in Menominee County. Two streets were closed as over 30 departments in 5 counties responded to the fire.

The Stephenson Fire Department said in a press release that the fire began around 12:30 PM Wednesday. Crews arrived to find flames shooting out of upper-story windows. After searching the building and finding no residents inside, the fire crews began attacking the fire from outside and requested manpower to help shuttle water and protect nearby buildings.

The blaze was brought under control around 5 p.m. and all agencies were off the scene by 6:30 p.m. At around 3 p.m. an excavator was used to partially demolish the building and provide access to the interior so crews could fight the fire. By the time the scene was clear, more than 260,000 gallons of water had been pulled from the hydrant system, and overall water usage is estimated at 1-2 million gallons.

One exterior wall remained standing afterward, and because of structural stability concerns, nearby businesses and one lane of traffic were closed until the three-story concrete wall could be removed in the morning.

The Stephenson Fire Department is grateful to the community for their support during the fire, as community members provided first responders with food and beverages.

Community members who wish to support the families affected by the fire can contribute monetary donations via GoFundMe, or drop off physical items at one of two locations in the City of Stephenson. Please see the Menominee County Victim Services Unit page for updated information on requested items, clothing sizing, drop-off locations, and donation links.

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