Alma Businesses, Church Damaged in Fire

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An Alma family is homeless after Leta’s Furniture and Antiques on Fayetteville Avenue in downtown Alma caught fire Tuesday night.

The Alma Fire Department received the call about the fire between 9:30 and 9:45 Tuesday night. Police blocked of downtown streets as crews worked to put out the fire.

Firefighters put out the flames and left the scene around 4 a.m. Wednesday, according to the fire chief. The cause of the fire has not been determined.

The Alma 7th Day Adventist Church and Hudson’s gym located next to the antique shop both sustained smoke and water damage. The church moved Wednesday night’s bible study to a member’s house.

The gym’s owner expects people to work out Wednesday evening.

The owner of the antique shop, Michael Cruse, moved into the building 14 years ago and lived in the shop with his wife. He says he was downstairs with is family when the fire sparked. When the couple saw the flames they say they rushed out with their granddaughter.

The Cruse family closed the antique store about six years ago. They say they had hoped to open the business back up. Firefighters say the building is a total loss.

The couple says they only had liability insurance, and despite their loss they say they’re glad they made it out alright.

Leta Cruse and her husband moved into an RV. “We can always start over,” she said.

Uptown Girl Consignment and Boutique was closed Wednesday because of smoke damage, according to the owner Vickie Dickinson. “I just have a lot of stuff that just a washing machine and a dryer just isn't going to get the smell out,” she said.

Dickinson is not sure what is next. She said, “I don’t know if I’m going to be able to reopen.”