Grand Rapids Twp. businesses closed after fire

GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- A fast-moving fire damaged two stores along Plainfield Avenue Thursday morning.

Ken Courts, the owner of Ken's Fruit Market, said the fire started near a bail of straw outside the store.  His business and the nearby Africa's Child Thrift Store, are now both closed.

"We aren't sure yet if someone threw a cigarette in there and that lit up.  Or if it started in the plastic garbage can," Courts said.

Courts said it will be at least a week or two before the store will be able to reopen.

The Africa's Child Thrift Store sustained smoke damage.

"There's the potential that a majority of our inventory will not be salvageable," said Manager Cori Scholtens.

Scholtens said the ceiling and walls of the business also need to be replaced.  The mission-based thrift store sends money to Africa every month.

The insurance the store has likely won't be enough to restart the store, so they're holding a fundraiser so they can restock and reopen.

The fundraiser will be in the parking lot of the business at 3482 Plainfield Ave. on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  The store is asking for donations of clothing, furniture, sporting goods and toys.


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