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UPDATE: More than $1M in damages reported following Mackinac Island cottage fire

There were no injuries to occupants or firefighters, but the damages and loss reported so far is worth more than $1 million.
Published: May. 30, 2021 at 7:44 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 11:33 AM EDT
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MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (WLUC) - UPDATE: June 1, 2021: More details about a fire at a historic Mackinac Island cottage have been released by the Mackinac Island Fire Department (MIFD).

Fire Department Chief, Jason St. Onge, says crews were sent to the fire on Main Street at 6:01 p.m. Sunday, May 30, to the Brigadoon Cottage. The cottage has been owned by the Stingel family since 1989.

The chief instantly made it a two-alarm fire, calling for the St. Ignace Fire Department to respond. But, before the St. Ignace team could respond, they were dispatched to a fire of their own, St. Onge said. Mackinaw City Fire Department was then dispatched and was able to send 11 firefighters.

The first fire companies on scene, Ladder 2 and Engine 1, stretched a hose to the third floor and began fighting the fire from within. The tremendous fire load consisting of finished wooden interior walls made the 3rd floor untenable and firefighters had to retreat several times down the stairs. After the roof burned through, fearing the now untethered chimney could collapse, interior crews were removed and a master stream from Ladder 2 was engaged.

About 45 minutes after the initial alarm, the first mutual aid firefighters from the mainland began to arrive and give much needed relief to the MIFD firefighters, St. Onge said.

After exterior operations began to knock down the fire, crews again tried to get to the third floor to finish off the fire, while other firefighters were simultaneously evacuating paintings, pictures and priceless family heirlooms from the first and second floors.

The fire was deemed under control at about 7:30 p.m. and out 9:00 p.m. Firefighters spent as least 2 more hours picking up hose, filling air bottles and placing equipment back on the firetrucks.

Mainland firefighters were transported back to their home ports via a special Shepler Ferry at 10:00 p.m.

Additional help and resources were utilized from Mackinac Island EMS, Mackinac Island Police Department, Michigan State Police, Bacco Construction, Cloverland Electric Co-Op, the Mackinac Island Department of Public Works, Belonga Excavating and the Mackinac Island Service Company.

After interviewing the occupants/owners of the structure and opening up additional walls, it was concluded that the fire started in the walls between the 2nd and 3rd floor from a failure in the chimney from a family fire that had been lit in the first-floor fireplace at about 4:00 p.m.

There were no injuries to occupants or firefighters, but the damages and loss reported so far is worth more than $1 million.

A letter from the Stingel family says when they purchased the cottage in 1989, it was restored to “its old cottage luster.”

“From summers on the porch to Christmas by the fire, we have truly enjoyed it, and we are heartbroken,” the family said.

But, there is some hope, as the Stingel’s say the next step is another rebuild, which has already begun.

“We appreciate all the well wishes, especially those that stopped by offering support and concern,” the family said in the letter. “We have a tough battle ahead, but we know that Brigadoon will again be postcard-perfect.”

Read the entire letter from the Stingel family below.

If you have photos or videos of the fire, fire fighting, or clean-up at this site, please submit them here under News.

The Stingel family looks on as firefighting crews put out the fire at the Brigadoon Cottage on...
The Stingel family looks on as firefighting crews put out the fire at the Brigadoon Cottage on Mackinac Island on May 30, 2021.(WLUC/Courtesy Jeffrey Shaffer)
Letter from the Stingel Family following the fire at the Brigadoon Cottage on Mackinac Island...
Letter from the Stingel Family following the fire at the Brigadoon Cottage on Mackinac Island on May 30, 2021.(Mackinac Island Fire Department/WLUC)
The Stingel family looks on as firefighting crews put out the fire at the Brigadoon Cottage on...
The Stingel family looks on as firefighting crews put out the fire at the Brigadoon Cottage on Mackinac Island on May 30, 2021.(WLUC/Courtesy Jeffery Shaffer)

We have a great loss on the island today. Brigadoon has caught fire and looks pretty bad. So far everyone is safe and the surrounding structures look like they will be good. Keep everyone posted.

Posted by Haunts of Mackinac on Sunday, May 30, 2021

ORIGINAL STORY: One family is left to pick up the pieces after their historic cottage caught on fire on Mackinac Island Sunday.

According to the Mackinac Island Fire Department Chief, Jason St. Onge, their units arrived at the home located on Main Street at 6 p.m.

Videos and photos taken by multiple witnesses show the Brigadoon cottage engulfed in heavy smoke and flames coming from the third floor.

The fire chief says the fire was contained by 7:30 p.m.

Authorities said the Mackinac Island Fire Department recovered as much property as possible.

The cause of the fire is unknown but the fire department is ruling out any suspicious activity.

The Mackinac Island police chief called the incident a “tragedy” and said they’re doing their best to accommodate the family who was home at the time.

There are no reported injuries.

If you have photos or videos of the fire, fire fighting, or clean-up at this site, please submit them here under News.

Below is a Facebook post from “Haunts of Mackinac” about the incident:

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