|Fire fighters and engines from 14 local departments responded |
last Wednesday to the blaze at Karl's Cabin on Gotfredson Road.
The three alarm fire began at about 6:15 p.m. according to official reports and was ignited from a carelessly disposed cigarette outside the back entrance. The blaze traveled to a nearby storage container and then to the rear wall of the log cabin building. Officials said high winds were a contributing factor in the rapid spread of the fire which caused severe damage to the restaurant dish tank, walk-in coolers, banquet room and the offices on the second floor, according to the restaurant Facebook page.
No injuries were reported from the fire but the entire dining room had to be immediately evacuated and diners urged to leave the parking areas to allow fire trucks to enter.
The Gotfredson Road restaurant has been owned by the Poulos family for nearly 40 years since it was opened by Karl Poulos in 1982. The log-cabin building has a much longer and colorful history in the community. Opened first as a roadhouse in 1942, it became known for traveling musicians, including a young Johnny Cash.
Peter Poulos who operates the restaurant with his mother and brother Lewis, said, in a social media post, that customers and staff members remained calm as smoke began to fill the dining area during the evacuation which took place during peak dining hours. The building sustained heavy fire, smoke and water damage according to official reports, but firefighters saved the bar, kitchen and dining room.
“We would like to thank the community for the outpouring of love and support. We are so grateful for all the kind posts, text messages, phone calls, emails and personal visits. We would like to send a special shout out to all the area agencies and departments for saving the cabin including fire departments from the City of Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor Township, Dexter, Northfield, South Lyon, Scio, Superior, Northville City, Northville Township, Plymouth, Plymouth Township, Canton Township, Lyon, Salem, Huron Valley Ambulance, Michigan State Police and Washtenaw County Sheriff,” Poulos posted.
“Without you the loss would have been greater. We have already started the cleaning process today and will keep you posted as we learn more on our long road ahead. Our plan is to reopen, we're just not sure how long it will take. As sad as we are for our staff and guests we are so happy no one was hurt. Stay tuned for more information as we obtain it. Thank you support and understanding,” the post concluded.