We hope you enjoy this abbreviated version of the
Serving Frankenmuth Since 1906
Vol. 114 No. 32 - In our 114th year!
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
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SMOKY SCENE: This is the view from Cass Street of the fire at T.Dub's Pizzeria, which took place around 5:40am Saturday, February 8. The Frankenmuth Fire Department was on the scene for over three hours.
Kitchen fire closes T.Dub's Pizzeria indefinitely
The investigation is continuing into the cause of a kitchen fire at a downtown restaurant that took place early last Saturday morning, February 8.
The Frankenmuth Fire Department was summoned at 5:40am to T’ Dub’s Pizzeria & Pub, 565 South Main Street.
"Although it is still under investigation, it appears that it may have been grease that started the fire. An employee reported the fire and was able to call Saginaw County Central Dispatch 911 and evacuate the building safely,” FFD Chief Phil Kerns said. “Investigators are still in the process of reviewing the kitchen.”
Frankenmuth Police Officer Jerry Fulmer was first on the scene and when the firefighters arrived, they observed heavy smoke and flames visible through the roof. Upon entry into the building, FFD Captain Dan Schneirla reported the fire personnel encountered heavy smoke inside the restaurant as they entered from the rear door into the kitchen area.
“Our firefighters were able to extinguish the fire, however, the kitchen sustained extensive damage,” Kerns said.
The two adjacent businesses, the Taffy Kitchen and Frank’s Muth, had some smoke damage.
“The amount of heat around the exhaust/vent stack above the grill was intense. We used about 1,000 gallons of water and there was mainly smoke damage throughout the building,” Kerns said.
South Main Street, at Cass Street, was closed for a while because the fire hydrant across from T’ Dub’s was thought to be needed as well as roof top access for Ladder Truck 3. Engine 1 and Truck 3 were initially taken to the scene, followed by Engine 2, Squad 4 and Brush 7. A Birch Run Fire Department engine also traveled to the scene and Bridgeport Fire stood by at their station.
The Frankenmuth Police, Saginaw County Sheriff’s deputies and MMR Ambulance Service personnel assisted with traffic. Kerns said because of the downtown setting, there was initial concern that the adjacent buildings could be in jeopardy because of their closeness in proximity to each other.
"All the crews did an excellent job in coordinating their efforts and minimizing fire spread,” Kerns said.
Frankenmuth realtor Scott R. Rausch owns the building housing T. Dub’s and the Taffy Kitchen. Mark Johnston operates T’ Dub’s and Carol McClellan has the Taffy Kitchen.
Kerns commented that no other fire station in Saginaw County can turn out 24 firefighters for a fire like the Frankenmuth Fire Department did on Saturday morning, adding that the dedication of the community’s firefighters is amazing.
“Who else would leave their perfectly-warm bed at 5:39am on a Saturday morning brave the elements to start their cold vehicle, drive their cold vehicle to the station just to hop on a fire truck and enter a smoke-filled commercial building?” Kerns asked.
As Kerns and other fire personnel often hear, while most people are doing whatever they need to do to get out of a smoke-filled or burning building, firefighters are assessing the situation and entering the same building in an attempt to find and extinguish the fire.
“Who in their right mind would do this? Of course, firefighter safety is paramount and constantly on our minds, but having well-trained volunteers who are able to respond in very good equipment is key to a successful fire department. These people are professional volunteers and excel at what they do,” Kerns stated.
The fire personnel cleared three hours later and had an hour of clean up at the station. This was the 15th call for service in 2020.
In other FFD news, crews were activated at 7:31pm Wednesday, February 5, for a fire alarm at Slo’ Bones BBQ Smokehaus, 175 East Jefferson Street.
FFD Safety Officer Jamison Zehnder said some food in the kitchen was burning, causing the alarm to go off. Engine 1 responded with six personnel and cleared shortly after arriving on the scene. A total of 20 firefighters traveled to the hall.
Shortly after 1:30pm on Friday, February 7, the local fire department was requested for mutual aid from the Millington-Arbela Fire Department for an 800-square foot pole barn fire in the 8400 block of Murphy Lake Road.
FFD Crew Leader Jeffrey Weiss noted that the Vassar Fire Department was also called, along with the FFD, for water tankers as the area is without fire hydrants.
Frankenmuth’s Tender 5 supplied 2,000 gallons of water and was released from the scene an hour after arrival. Nine fire personnel reported to the station.