Fire guts Ionia building, forces evacuations

A courtesy photo shows what's left of a former commercial building following a widespread fire on June 18, 2017. (Ionia Department of Public Safety)

IONIA, Mich. (WOOD) — Ionia investigators are trying to determine the cause of a fire that caused parts of a former commercial building to collapse.

Ionia public safety officers say they got the call around 2:18 a.m. Sunday for a fire at the former Lower Bros. building, located at E. Bluewater Highway (M-21) and Stage Road.

When authorities arrived, both floors on the building’s east side were already fully involved. Parts of the building began to collapse early on, making it more difficult to fight the flames, according to a Facebook post by the Ionia Department of Public Safety.

Nine fire departments responded to the fire; it took crews more than an hour to knock down the flames, dispatchers tell 24 Hour News 8.

No one was injured in the fire, according to Ionia DPS. Ionia County Victim’s Advocates are helping the residents who were living in the building.