REYNOLDS TOWNSHIP – A family-owned party store on M-46 was destroyed in a fire Sunday night.
The Howard City Fire Department responded to M&S Quick Stop at 9469 Reed Road, just off M-46 north of Howard City, at 6:58 p.m.
Fire Chief Randy Heckman said the fire took about an hour to get under control. Fire departments from Amble, Maple Valley Township and Morley were called for mutual aid. Firefighters used an estimated 50,000 gallons of water to extinguish the blaze.
“It’s a total loss,” said Heckman of the building. “I can’t tell from the burn pattern because it burned so hard, but it looks electrical in cause.”
Tony Montan owns the building and his brother, Jimmy Jabbar, manages the business. The party store was temporarily closed this summer due to a downturn in business as ongoing road construction is taking place on U.S. 131, causing the northbound entrance and exit ramps to be closed to M-46. The party store was set to re-open this week after some renovations.
Jabbar, a resident of Wyoming, Mich., had been at the business around 3 p.m. Sunday. He said everything looked fine when he left.
“We will rebuild, I promise you this,” he said with emotion Sunday night.
The family has owned the business since 2007.
“It’s horrible,” said Jabbar’s son, Khader. “To have everything gone just like that …”
Some of the merchandise inside the store survived, including a large amount of liquor. Family members planned to camp out in the parking lot of the destroyed business Sunday night to ensure the merchandise wasn’t stolen.
The Howard City Police Department also assisted at the scene.