Fire ravages Reed City business
Owners plan to rebuild St. Bernard’s Ice Company
REED CITY — Bags of packaged ice remain frozen inside the charred remains of St. Bernard’s Ice Company, a Reed City-based business that went up in flames early on Wednesday.
Owner Dale Moss and his wife Pamela spent most of Wednesday making calls to their clients, letting them know they’d be unable to make deliveries until the shop is rebuilt.
“We’re honored by all the small businesses that have stuck by us and said they’d come back once we rebuild,” Pamela Moss said.
Dale Moss said he closed the shop, which is located at 19226 Three Mile Rd. next door to his family’s home, around 5 p.m. on Tuesday. When he awoke in the night around 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday, he said he looked out the window at the shop “out of habit,” but didn’t notice any flames or light coming from inside. His son woke him up about an hour later after seeing a glow coming through his bedroom windows. When he looked outside, Moss said he could see the flames in the building.
Reed City Fire Department arrived at the shop at 3:55 a.m. and battled the blaze until almost 9 a.m. on Wednesday. They were assisted by Lincoln Township Fire Department, Hersey Township Fire Department, Evart Fire Department, Osceola County Emergency Medical Services and the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. No one was inside the building at the time the fire broke out. The building and the ice coolers and cars inside — including a rare 1977 RT Dodge Charger that belonged to Moss’ son — all were a complete loss.
Pallets of packaged ice began to melt once they were exposed to the sun when the roof was removed from the burned walk-in cooler, Moss said.
“That’s the ironic thing about it,” Moss said. “We had two galvanized roofs come down on top of (the ice) that had to be removed.”
Winter months are the company’s “off-season,” Moss said, so he feels fortunate to not have lost the building during the profitable summer months, when he might deliver 20,000 bags of ice in a week. In the winter, Moss said he usually delivers less than 3,000 bags a week.
During the high season, the company employs 10 to 15 people, most of whom are Moss family members. Moss wants to rebuild, but said on Wednesday he was still reeling from the shock of losing his business.
“You can’t watch your whole life get burned down and not do anything about it,” he said. “We’re thankful nobody got hurt, that it’s not our home and it’s just a business. But it’s still a business with a lot of memories attached to it.”