CROWN POINT — A late-night fire that swept through the popular Frenchy’s Ice Cream Parlor on Main Street Friday night also left six people homeless.
The fire was reported by a neighbor at about 10:30 p.m., triggering a massive response from local fire companies.
The two-story wood-frame building had two apartments, and all occupants evacuated safely after the fire began.
The apartment downstairs was occupied by the owner of Frenchy’s, Ronald Ryan, who lived there with his wife and 17-year-old daughter. The upstairs apartment was rented to Karen Talbott, who lived there with her 13- and 20-year-old sons.
Frenchy’s Ice Cream snack bar was open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays in the winter, serving takeout pizza, michigan hot dogs and burgers. The eatery, which had no inside seating, had closed at 7 p.m. Friday, about 3 1/2 hours before the fire was reported.
The building, located at 2747 Main St. in Crown Point, was destroyed, Essex County Emergency Services Director Donald Jaquish said Saturday morning.
“It’s pretty much a total loss,” he said. “The building is still standing, but the roof is gone.”
He said firefighters were at the structure until 4 a.m., then were called back to the ice cream shop at 7:30 a.m. Saturday for a rekindle that further damaged the building.
Crown Point Volunteer Fire Department member Scott Ingleston said he believes Ryan has insurance on the building.
“It was just heavy, dark smoke,” Ingleston said, describing what the building looked like the first time the Fire Department responded. “I saw no flames, really, until we opened it up.”
The fire was mainly confined to the first level, Ingleston said, where he thinks it started.
The 15 degree weather did affect firefighters’ efforts, the chief said.
“Equipment was kind of freezing up. We were having a little issues with that.”