Massive fire damages several businesses in downtown Holly

HOLY, Mich. – Fire crews are still on scene working on hotspots of the devastating blaze in holly.

Flames scorched the antiques arcade, Andy’s Place, severely damaged the back of the Holly Hotel, and there is untold damage to the Moose Lodge.

The fire started in Battle Alley just behind the Antique Arcade and spread until a thick pall of white smoke obscured everything.

Holly police were the first to spot the fire.

“They saw smoke,” Holly Police Department Chief Jerry Narsh said. “There was actually an officer walking by who said he saw smoke. He called me at 4:03 p.m.”

Lily: Crews fight a fire affecting several buildings in downtown Holly

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They began evacuating four businesses in the fire area, which included the Antiques Arcade, the Holly Hotel, Andy’s Place and the Moose Lodge.

“Our people got out safe and sound, and that’s all that matters,” said Liz Chapin, whose family owns Andy’s Place. “No one is hurt.”

Officials say the wind greatly affected the rate at which the fire spread.

“I saw smoke billowing from the parking lot between the hotel and Andy’s Place,” Shannon Clarke said. “I was like, ‘is something on fire?’ It was just crazy.

Officials say 150 firefighters from Oakland County departments responded to the call to try to keep the fire from destroying the entirety of historic downtown Holly.

Five downtown firefighters had to be sent to hospital for heat stroke.

“I can’t even imagine fighting the heat that is happening and standing over the fire,” said witness Cari Zwyicki. “My heart is with them.”

The community started distributing water and pizza to those protecting the community.

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“They are here to protect our community,” said witness Bre Clark. “It’s the least we can do.”

Both Andy’s Place and the Moose Lodge had undergone extensive renovations during COVID, and now it’s either up in smoke or hopelessly waterlogged.

“It’s overwhelming, but the people are great, the communities great, we do everything for everyone. “You hate to see it,” former Moose Lodge president Dennis Justice said.

The cause of the fire is still unclear, but officials say the fire was not started in the kitchen but electrical.

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David H. Henry