Michigan community helps businesses affected by fire


By TREVOR SOCHOCKI, JAMES PAXSON

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MICHIGAN (WNEM) – A Mid-Michigan community is coming together to support theirs this holiday season.

Employees at Louisiana Cookhouse and Lula’s Lily Pearls Lounge woke up without work Tuesday morning after a fire engulfed the building.

Lula was not the only business affected by the fire and they weren’t the only ones receiving help from the neighborhood.

John Beilfuss is the owner and executive chef of Lula’s Louisiana Cookhouse and Lily Pearls Lounge.

“I was just in shock. You know, I don’t even remember, I barely remember being here now, ”Belifuss said.

He received the call on Monday just after midnight about the fire.

“I was just in shock and watched him burn, and I didn’t really know the extent of the damage at the time. We really didn’t know it was a total loss until the next morning when we came back, ”Belifuss said.

This exterior is basically the only wall left and the rest is charcoal.

“My biggest concern right now is it’s Christmas time, I have 20, 25 people working for me who were counting on their wages, their tips, the big Christmas week here and that won’t happen. not this week. Said Belifuss.

One of the employees set up a GoFundMe, which has already surpassed his goal of $ 10,000. The cause of the fire is still unknown, Beilfuss met with a fire investigator and a claims adjuster on Thursday.

The Lula had only been open for four months when the fire broke out. They closed last March for the pandemic and just opened this summer.

Lula was not the only business affected.

“With them who fought the fire, we had water damage, we had smoke damage, so we are currently closed while the catering company takes care of all these things,” said Jon Moore, co-owner of Foster Coffee.

Lula’s neighbor, Foster Coffee, is going to shut down for a little while. They decided to take their mobile cart one block down the road from the Parceleum Fitness.

“This is one of the peculiarities of Owosso, is that our community is very tight-knit. People really look out for each other. And we are generally all friends. So again the outpouring of support for us, let alone Lula, has been impressive, ”said Moore.

For about a month, Foster Coffee will be working out of the gym. Although Beilfuss isn’t sure what next for Lula, he said he’s not done yet.

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