Five rural fire departments battled an afternoon blaze just west of the of Three Oaks in Berrien County.
Around 5:15 p.m. Saturday, flames and dense smoke were seen pouring from the Harbor Country Storage facility at the corner of U.S. 12 and S. Schwark Rd.
NewsCenter 16 spoke with a man on the scene who said he was in his storage unit working on his Harley Davidson motorcycle. When the man attempted to start the bike, it sparked. A small fire quickly spread with the advent of flammable liquids, like varnish remover, inside the storage space.
The property consists of three long storage shelters running parallel to one another. The fire looks to have destroyed the center shelter, but did not spread to the other two.
“I can't estimate a dollar amount, because we haven't been able to get in all of them,” says the assistant fire chief with the Three Oaks Fire Department. “But I'm going to say 15-20 units were affected by fire damage, and at least smoke and heat.”
Firefighters from Chikaming Township, New Buffalo Township, Bridgman, Galien and Three Oaks Fire Departments joined forces to fight the blaze.
Traffic along U.S. 12 was unaffected throughout the firefight, but S. Schwark Rd. was shut down north of U.S. 12 for about three hours.