POST OFFICE FIRE

Elmira-Warner Fire Chief Donny Franckowiak walks outside the U.S. Post Office in Elmira on Wednesday morning after a late night fire. Michigan State Police troopers from the Gaylord Post and firefighters from the Elmira-Warner and Otsego County Fire Departments responded to the fire just after 11 p.m. Tuesday, which is believed to have started from an electrical outlet inside the building.

ELMIRA — A fire that seriously damaged an Elmira Post Office was electrical, according to a fire investigator.

Michigan State Police troopers and Elmira-Warner firefighters responded to the blaze around 11 p.m. Tuesday, according to MSP Seventh District Spokesman Lt. Derrick Carroll. Otsego County fire and EMS services assisted.

The flames were extinguished by 2 a.m., and firefighters and investigators were back on-scene Wednesday afternoon for a more thorough look at the still-standing, if a bit charred, cement-block building.

An MSP fire investigator confirmed the suspicions of Elmira-Warner Fire Chief Donny Franckowiak and several others — an electrical malfunction.

Firefighters previously determined the fire had started near an outlet on the post office’s south wall, according to Carroll. Burn patterns heading up the wall strengthened the theory.

The building was secure and showed no signs of entry after-hours, according to an MSP release. Investigators found no trace of accelerants.

Franckowiak said the structure still stands and much inside was spared from the flames, but the building will need a new roof if it’s to be salvaged.

Franckowiak, who grew up nearby, said the building is a longtime landmark.

“It’s a piece of history,” Franckowiak said. “It’s been the post office ever since I can remember.”

Any Elmira residents concerned about mail delivery can call the Gaylord Post Office at 989-732-6800.

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