The main building of Lake State Lawn, Landscaping & Snow Removal in Eaton Rapids Township, Michigan, burned to the ground on Monday.
The accidental fire started about 11:50 a.m. when an employee was using a grinder and sparks ignited a blaze. The employee attempted to put it out with an extinguisher but was unsuccessful.
Everyone escaped the building safely and the fire was under control after 90 minutes, according to Eaton Rapids Township Assistant Fire Chief Don Kidd.
“I have people who are expecting to get paid, and I don’t even have checks to print on,” Jimmy Baumgras, manager of the company, told Lansing State Journal. “I was able to get our computer out of there, so that’s one good thing.”
All of the equipment in the 84-foot-long building was damaged, some of it destroyed.
Baumgras told the Lansing newspaper the building was insured and estimated the total loss could be $200,000 or more. Two salt trucks and a plow truck were totaled by the flames and three other trucks, along with two employees’ cars, were damaged.
“You name it, it was inside – weed whips, blowers, whatever,” Baumgras said.
Although the fire destroyed the majority of the company’s salting equipment, the Lansing State Journal reported Lake State employees will continue to serve clients.