GREENVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — Flames ripped through a Greenville warehouse early Tuesday, destroying decades of show history for the Flat River Community Players.
“I think about how those are gone and never to be seen again and how much time and effort people put into the costumes and the props and the sets,” Becky Tower, a member of the theater group, told News 8.
Montcalm County dispatchers told News 8 shortly after 2:10 a.m., crews were called to the fire at the corner of North Clay Street and East Charles Street. The Greenville, Belding and Montcalm Township fire departments responded.
Greenville Public Safety Lt. Brian Blomstrom said the building, which was built circa 1890, was not structurally sound, so crews had to attack it from the outside only.
The fire was under control within about three hours, though crews remained on the scene putting out hot spots for more than 12 hours.
FRCP rents out part of the warehouse for storage. The devastating loss comes a few days before opening night for their performance of “A Christmas Story.”
Roughly 95% of the show’s props and costumes are in place at the Greenville Area Community Center, so the show will still go on as planned, but the items in the storage space are irreplaceable.
“We’ve always been self-sufficient with pretty much everything and now we have nothing,” Tammy Hollinshead told News 8.
She’s directing a cast of 21 people, mostly children, for “A Christmas Story.”
FRCP has turned to Facebook to update the community on ways people can help. The group also created a GoFundMe account after people began showing interest in donating to replenishing costumes and props.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, though firefighters on the scene said it did not appear to be suspicious.