The fire that destroyed two downtown businesses in the early morning hours of Friday, Nov. 30 has been determined to not be of a suspicious nature, according to information received by Dexter Fire Chief Don Seymore Tuesday.
"It could not be determined exactly how the fire started," Seymore stated, "but it was determined that the fire started in the attic of the tattoo parlor (Drop of Ink 2).
State Fire Marshal Butch Amon was summoned to the scene of the downtown fire early Friday morning to investigate the fire's cause. In addition, Det. Lt. Trevor Pulley of the local police department was called in at
7 a.m. to also investigate the blaze.
Firemen responded to the fire at 12:15 a.m. Friday and found the tattoo parlor fully engulfed in flames and spreading to the building to its east, The Loft. Mutual aid was called in from Butler County, Bloomfield and Essex. About 50 firefighters battled the blaze throughout the night. Dexter firefighters remained on the scene of the fire until 4 p.m. Friday, nearly 16 hours after their initial arrival at the scene.
When it was over, the two operations had been reduced to a pile of rubble.
City Administrator Mark Stidham and others credited the firefighters with preventing the inferno from spreading to additional downtown buildings. Businesses in both directions of the lost buildings sustained some smoke damage, but neither had structural damage from the blaze.
Seymore confirmed that there was no access to the attic level of the Drop of Ink 2 facility where the fire is now determined to have begun. The fire was burning in the attic, from the upper level downward, Seymore stated. The fire, it has been determined, started in an area between the first and second stories of the tatoo parlor facility, which is believed to be more than 100 years old.
"It's a void area," he explained, "that was typical of buildings that age."