One local business saw one of its worst nightmares unfold just before noon on Friday as a fire broke out at Bearcats Fish house in Algoma. No one was seriously injured but some employees of Bearcats were exposed to smoke and later released by EMS. The Algoma Fire Department arrived around 11:40 AM as smoke was coming out of the doors on the east side of the building. Algoma Fire Chief Tom Ackerman credited the initial attack crew for getting the fire under control, including pulling down ceiling materials.
Early detection shows that the fire likely started in one of the smoking units in the northwest corner of the building. Ackerman says he spoke to one Bearcats employee who said he noticed that one of the smokers was on fire before he tried to extinguish it himself. Once the flames got above him, the employee dialed 911 for help.
Ackerman says there’s considerable fire damage to the north half of the building and very heavy smoke damage in the retail end. He added that a firewall prevented the fire from getting to the retail area. Kewaunee and Southern Door Fire Departments also responded to the fire while Kewaunee and Algoma EMS were also on scene to make sure firefighters vital signs were in the clear.
State Highway 42 and Fourth Street in Algoma from Steele Street to North Water Street is currently closed according to the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Office. Chuck Schmitt, owner of Fisherman’s Refuge confirmed the fire was located in the upper half of Bearcats shortly after 11:00 AM, and the Algoma Fire Department arrived on scene and has the fire contained. The Algoma Fire Department is advising you to remain clear of the area so first responders can work. More details will be provided as they become available.