Multiple departments douse fire at towing company

Orange Township, Mich.  --  Ionia County Central Dispatch says a big fire at a towing company near Portland was largely out by 9:50 p.m. Wednesday. And Grand River Avenue had reopened between Kelsey Highway and Sunfield Highway.

Crews from multiple fire departments were dispatched to 2661 E. Grand River Avenue in Orange Township around 6:43 p.m. Wednesday.

There was no immediate word what sparked the fire at Reed & Hoppes Towing & Equipment. The main towing shop itself was spared. The fire was in an adjacent storage facility. A firefighter tells FOX 17 at the scene there was a fire at the same location five years ago. The 2014 fire was electrical in origin.

Firefighters say three vehicles inside the storage facility were damaged by the fire, including a police car that had been involved in a previous crash. However, company workers managed to get its four big car-carrier trucks out of there. No workers were injured.

It wasn't immediately clear whether all of the firefighters avoided injury, as well.

Reed & Hoppes employee Dam Gambile said, "The family members are taking it very hard; it is a family business, it’s tight and we’ll rebuild and keep going. Nobody was seriously injured and we were able to salvage some of our  trucks and stuff. So, it shouldn’t slow us down too much - especially in the warmer weather, we don’t need that facilty as much to put our trucks in to keep warm and out of the snow

"Hopefully, this summer we'll get something put back up to replace this...and keep going".

Reed & Hoppes says on its website it was established in Portland in 1947 and operates a diversified fleet of trucks, and also serves as a distributor for various companies.

Said Ionia County Central Dispatch on its Facebook page Wednesday night: " Please avoid the area and watch out for fire apparatus travelling to and from the fire scene with water."

Responding agencies included the Michigan State Police and Ionia Public Safety, as well as the following fire departments: Berlin-Orange, Portland, Lake Odessa, Lyons-Muir, Sunfield, and Clarksville.

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