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August 23 • 06:07 AM
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Charred fire debris becoming eyesore


Adjuster still waiting for list of claims from owner


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Several piles of debris remain from the July 5 fire that destroyed Bugsy’s North Bar & Grill. City officials and neighbors of the burned-out property are concerned by the time it’s taking for the property to be cleaned up. photo by Tom Wearing.

September 17, 2008
IMLAY CITY — It's been nearly three months since a fire destroyed Bugsy's North Bar & Grill at 145 E. Capac Rd. (M-21), leaving behind several large piles of charred rubble.

An investigation of the July 5 blaze by Michigan State Police fire investigators revealed that the fire began in the basement of the building. However, no determination could be made regarding the specific cause of the fire. Damage was estimated at about $400,000, including property and contents.

Imlay City Manager Amy Planck said the burned-out debris represents an eyesore to neighbors of the establishment, as well as to passing motorists.

"It's certainly something we want to be taken care of as soon as possible," said Planck. "Unfortunately, things don't always happen as quickly as we'd like them to."

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John Boyer, an independent insurance claims adjuster, said he is still waiting for a complete list of contents from the building's owner, Louis Dabish.

"Until we can document all the evidence and contents of the building, we can't authorize demolition," said Boyer. "If there are any red flags on that list, we will need to take a closer look — even if that means digging into the debris to find stuff."

Boyer said he, too, would like to see the process move more quickly toward a resolution.

"I was told we would have something (a claims presentation) by now," said Boyer. "But as of today (Fri., Sept. 12), we still do not have it."

Once a complete claims list is provided and approved by the owner's insurance carrier, Boyer said, plans to demolish the building and clean up the property can proceed.

"When that happens, we can request the authority to do the demolition," he added.

In the interim, Planck said residents and city officials will have to be patient. She pointed out that it took more than a year for the site of a recent home fire to be cleaned up.

She noted that Imlay City participates in a state program that would reimburse the municipality 25 percent of any agreed-upon claim settlement, should the property not be cleaned up.

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