Big fire hits Michigan boat storage building near Lake Erie

A building loaded with boats burned in southeastern Michigan, sending smoke for miles along Lake Erie

LASALLE TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Fire swamped an enormous building loaded with boats Friday in southeastern Michigan, sending smoke for miles along Lake Erie.

The number of boats at Toledo Beach Marina could be in the hundreds, said Monroe County emergency manager Mark Hammond. No injuries were reported.

The marina is in LaSalle Township, a few miles south of Monroe and just north of the border with Ohio. Aerial video showed clouds of black smoke and a building overwhelmed by flames. The roof collapsed.

“Our leadership team is at the property managing the situation. We are working closely with first responders and have initiated an investigation into the cause,” the marina’s owner said in a written statement.

Ronni Wolfe, who has a boat in an adjacent building, said her phone was “going crazy” about 6:45 a.m.

“It’s things, not people,” Wolfe said at the scene. “There’s much worse going on out there. We’re grateful we didn’t have a loved one or something irreplaceable on it.”

Marina employee Tony Caruso said he waxes boats between seasons.

“This is all my winter work up in flames,” he said.

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