OWOSSO — The former Jumbo’s Burger Bar, an Owosso fixture for more than 50 years, suffered extensive damage Thursday evening as a fire tore through the now vacant structure.
Owosso Public Safety Director Kevin Lenkart said the cause of the fire is still under investigation. The building was unoccupied at the time of the fire, he said.
Downtown residents were without power for more than two hours overnight as several area departments battled the blaze at the 200 S. Washington St. business. Power crews turned off power downtown to ensure the safety of firefighters, Lenkart said.
Some businesses were still without power this morning.
Many residents lined the streets as fire crews worked to bring the fire under control.
Firefighters were still on scene as of 8 a.m. as smoke continued to billow from the structure. The Irish-themed bar/restaurant closed its doors in March 2019 after 55 years in business.
Firefighters were dispatched to the vacant bar shortly after 9 p.m. Thursday, with reports of flames and smoke emanating from the rear of the building. Owosso city, Owosso Township, Corunna-Caledonia and Perry firefighters battled the flames throughout the night, bringing the blaze under control around 1:30 a.m.
Neighboring business Cupcakes and Kisses, 210 S. Washington St., was spared, according to a Facebook post.
“All our staff is out of the building safely and our families are all safe,” bakery officials said. “Praying for the Owosso Fire Department and their safety.”
“Everything is intact with no water damage here,” bakery officials added in a subsequent Facebook post this morning, noting the establishment was still without power as of 8 a.m.
Maurer Heating and Cooling, located behind Jumbo’s at 203 S. Water St., also appeared to suffer little, if any, damage.
“We assure you that our MH&C family are safe and we are all praying for the safety of all the fire and policemen and women who are out there tonight battling this devastating fire and loss to our community,” officials said in a Facebook post.
Jumbo’s first opened its doors in 1964. The original owners, Jim “Jumbo” Mahaney and his wife Pat, operated the bar for several years before selling to Mick Flynn.
Joe Merkel and his family purchased the place in 1994, running it for 22 years.
The bar/restaurant was purchased by Todd and Shelly Sydow from the family of Joe Merkel in 2016. Merkel died in 2015. Jumbo’s locked its doors and closed March 21, 2019.