You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 11:58 a.m.

Fire damages Sheesh restaurant on North Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor

By Lee Higgins

An estimated 25 people have been displaced from their apartments after a fire broke out this morning at Sheesh Mediterranean Cuisine restaurant in downtown Ann Arbor and spread to neighboring businesses.

The grill fire started about 11:23 a.m. at the restaurant at 207 N. Main St. and was under control in roughly two hours.

A cook at the restaurant was taken by ambulance to a local hospital after he injured his knee running from the fire, Ann Arbor Assistant Fire Chief Ed Dziubinski said.

The blaze caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage, Ann Arbor Battalion Chief Robert Vogel said. At least 20 firefighters from Ann Arbor, Pittsfield Township and Ypsilanti fire departments responded.

Adjoining businesses Edible Arrangements at 205 N. Main St. and Mythlogic Computers, 209 N. Main St., were also affected.

Firefighters said they rescued a cat from an apartment and gave it oxygen.

North Main Street was closed between Ann and Miller streets.

Eric Schreffler, 30, who co-owns Mythlogic Computers, said he left the business when he heard a fire alarm next door. "There was smoke coming into our building for a little while, and they asked us to leave," he said.



Tue, Aug 23, 2011 : 11:54 a.m.

re: @4fingers agreed. And I wonder what the bill will be to A2 from the surrounding communities for their services. That's why they call it MUTUAL AID. What's so hard to understand? They assist us and we assist them. We don't bill them and they don't bill us.


Tue, Aug 23, 2011 : 1:05 a.m.

Finally, a real-life example of the "genius" of Gov. Ri¢k $nyder. Here we have a fire, we have initially one or two fire trucks responding, then we have an additional 2 trucks responding from farther away. The first 2 trucks are needed just to transport enough personnel to operate 1 truck, the next two trucks are for operating a 2nd truck on the other side of the fire site. A fifth truck is dispatched - probably as some kind of backup for the original group. No one should complain, no one should worry: this is what Ri¢k $nyder predicted: with less funds, cities are forced by his "discipline" to "maximize & streamline public services." So this "proves" that public services don't work, see? But don't panic! No, stop panicking! Remember: Gov. Ri¢k $nyder ( genuine Genius-Nerd-Entrepenuer ) has assured us that the Capitalist Right Wing System will "fill in" for these "over paid", useless public service employees. Any time now, these elite "privatized" services will come flying in out of the blue! Any time now, shhh! is that them I hear coming? Wait, wait, wait for it.... Or -- just recall this incompetent NOW and restore public services.

Linsey Skelly

Tue, Aug 23, 2011 : 12:50 a.m.

You know, I think it really sucks that you guys are only concerned about how many fire trucks that were there. This fire took hours to put out and it damaged the business that I work at next door. We have to throw out everything and our store is totally ruined. And we are not the only ones. Small business are the heart and soul of downtown A2. Small business owners are destroyed by things like this. So, please stop complaining about fire trucks. People lost their businesses today, their livelihoods! Thank the firefighters that they were able to get it put out before it destroyed everything, including Main Street Party Store, The Heidleberg, The Broken Egg, etc. I bet if those businesses were threatened or destroyed, you wouldn't be complaining about the amount of fire trucks! Be thankful that people weren't hurt. Be thankful that these historic buildings might be repaired eventually. Do something more productive with your time, please.


Tue, Aug 23, 2011 : 8:20 p.m.

@Linsey-I sure you've been following the cutting of the fire department within our city. This is a great concern, and a legitimate concern for the community. Though we might not have all the answers to some of the city's problems, most of the posters here are concerned that there aren't enough fire fighters to serve our city due to budget cuts. Have agreements with other local communities are well and good. However, if a downtown business caught on fire, I wouldn't want a fire truck from Pittsfield or Ypsilanti to be responsible if on this particular day, AAFD has a station that is closed on a rotating basis. Even the mayor has acknowledged that there aren't that many fires, thus the cuts. Still, older buildings, like yours, pose a different problem to fire fighters as shown with this fire. As someone who works in one of these older buildings, I'd be very concern for any future fires and would suggest to be more productive with my time towards those at city hall who are making these decisions instead of people, like myself, who has nothing better to do but reply.

steve h

Tue, Aug 23, 2011 : 2:43 a.m.

sorry for your loss

steve h

Tue, Aug 23, 2011 : 2:43 a.m.

Linsey, don't try and reason with posters here. they're quite myopic in their reasoning.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 11:49 p.m.

Ann Arbor has had a lot of restaurant fires. Remember these? La Seine The Gingham Inn The Town Club Pretzel Bell Village Bell The Rubaiyat (on Main Street) The Whiffletree The Old German The Golden Chef

Mr Blue

Tue, Aug 23, 2011 : 2:02 a.m.

You're not a real restaurant owner until you've had a hood fire.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 11:23 p.m.

Whoa, there, djm. If he weren't so young, you could stand accused of elder Lee abuse.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 10:53 p.m.

I am extremely thankful that no one was seriously injured. The individual taken by ambulance appeared to have an injury to his knee. Thank you AAFD and the rest of those who responded with backup. To those who continue to speak ill-will of our great AAFD, I ask you this -- have you ever walked in any of their boots, entered a burning building, responded to emergency calls to car accidents or assisted with CPR for heart victims. Until you have, stop complaining and be thankful that the few firefighters we have left continue to do an awesome job. Go AAFD and please be safe.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 8:52 p.m.

Hopefully when more facts are available about this fire, it will be interesting to know how many stations/fire fighters from Ann Arbor responded. Case in point, the basement fire on Chelsea Circle the other day when all five stations from Ann Arbor responded. I'm curious to know how many from Ann Arbor responded, and, how many stations fire fighters were on duty. Can I assume that since so many units from Pittsfield and Ypsilanti were called in, Ann Arbor didn't have enough for this day? Were some stations closed? Point being, if the fire on Chelsea Circle needed five stations from Ann Arbor to respond when the first station arriving within 4min., and the fire out within 11min., why were so many stations needed? And this fire, how many from Ann Arbor responded and could they not, if all five stations responded as they did the basement fire, control this fire?


Tue, Aug 23, 2011 : 8:13 p.m.

@Liz;@actionjackson-I'd be more upset if a fire broke in my house on the westside of town, however, since the station that would normally cover my side of town was tied up on the complete opposite of town when the fire was put out within 11min., after having the initial truck arrive within 4min., the truck that would normally tend to my fire is now on the other side of town. Risking significant injury since my truck went to a fire that four other stations arrived at also. Just saying. This seemed like over kill.


Tue, Aug 23, 2011 : 12:48 a.m.

Please understand, under the new Rick Snyder system: the city is making "optimized use" of it's police and fire "resources." So - as was explained in another post: when you have not enough people to operate ONE truck, the needed people must be sent in other trucks!! Also, any substantial fire may be hard to assess by first arriving fire fighters, so to be absolutely safe, that initial "have two, need two more" situation repeats: so that backup will arrive - from more distant stations!! Now isn't that a genius plan? ;-)


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 10:56 p.m.

Right on Liz!


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 10:04 p.m.

I bet if it was a fire at your house, you wouldn't be upset if 5-7 trucks reported.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 8:30 p.m.

People on this board are unbelievable. I think you'd complain about motherhood and apple pie. You certainly cannot make up your minds about city services. Do we have too few or too many fire fighters? Are we spending too much or too little on these services? Furthermore, Lee Higgins did an amazing job researching and reporting on the problems in elderly/disabled care facilities in Washtenaw County, just yesterday I think. He doesn't have all the facts - as no one does - immediately on this fire and suddenly he's abused. Is their anything you do like? Anything whatsoever you might make positive comments about?


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 11:18 p.m.

Beautiful day outside, low humidity, lots of sun.

Beth Hoag

Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 8:03 p.m.

It would make sense for so many trucks to respond, in case the fire spread to the rest of the building. Downtown was filled with smoke and smelled like charred meat. Glad no one was seriously injured. Sorry about the biz, Sheesh. Bad luck.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 7:33 p.m.

All this from a grill fire? Sheesh.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 7:11 p.m.

Well I guess the stations are excited... what it looks like NOT so many fires these days... wow!!! you would have thought the entire block was a blaze... no fire trucks to wash???


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 7:40 p.m.

Yes, because we all know that the only thing the fire department does is put out fires. They certainly don't cut people out of cars when there has been an accident. They certainly don't do CPR on people who have heart attacks. They certainly don't save drowning victims from the river. They certainly don't run search and rescue operations when a building collapses. And they MOST CERTAINLY don't keep small little fires, like a pot on a stove or a car in a garage, from turning into the loss of an entire home - therefore you never even hear about it in the newspaper or on the TV. Nope. Never happens.

Bertha Venation

Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 5:12 p.m.

Ya. Just drove by it on the way back from lunch.

Kyle Mulka

Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 6:56 p.m.

Main and Ashley are still closed as of about 2:50pm


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 6:49 p.m.

I haven't gone outside to look so Main St. is open to traffic again?

Mr Blue

Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 5:08 p.m.

Here come the armchair Fire Chiefs.

Mr Blue

Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 7:43 p.m.

You miss the irony to take a shot at people who, for the most part, actually sit in armchairs. I bet that the regular cast of characters are neither Fire Chiefs nor journalists but have an armchair ready to comment for any occasion from football coach to president.

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 7:24 p.m.

Almost as bad as an armchair journalist.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 5:03 p.m.

There is so many trucks because each truck has reduced staff (maybe only 2 firefighters per truck) so to get enough firefighters to do a two sided attack (2 firefighters each) on the fire, run the engine to supply water, ventilate the building and search for victims, and also stretch a line to a hydrant, a lot of trucks need to respond.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 10:48 p.m.

Joni, your comment is totally disturbing -- have you ever been in a fire, responded to help folks in a fire. As mentioned, it stated why so many truck were there -- until you have walked or worked in the boots of a firefighters, I wish you would have more compassion for the work that they do to keep the citizens safe -- what would have happened if less responded and the fire took hold and spread throughout the city - what then.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 7:15 p.m.

I do NOT think they needed that many anything..period(what a show??)... they have very little to do but wash the trucks! crazy tax money drain! How much did that cost???... oh yeah we pay them even if no fires!!!... are there any fires more than a couple times a year??? How many does this city need???


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 4:54 p.m.

One man taken by ambulance? Was he a resident in an apartment above? Was he an employee at the restaurant below? Hopefully, not one of the firefighters...How hard would it be to ask these had someone there to take the picture, right Lee Higgins?

Angela Fiegel

Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 7:43 p.m.

@djim Thanks but no I haven't. Just adding what I've seen all day. @blanch The original unedited report only said that someone had been taken by ambulance and gave no details. As of 3:45 pm Main is still shut down from Huron to Miller. They have even shut down the sidewalk between the Main Steet Party Store and Sabor Latino's as well as across the street. The firefighters are packing things up but have been for over a half hour. The police are still there as well. Hopefully everything will be cleared out by 5pm for rush hour.

Blanch DuBois

Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 7:36 p.m.

"A cook at the restaurant was taken by ambulance to a local hospital after he injured his knee running from the fire, Ann Arbor Assistant Fire Chief Ed Dziubinski said." Not sure how you missed that djm.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 6:51 p.m.

Thanks Angela, ever think of moon-lighting as a reporter for Your comment has more info than the above "article"

Angela Fiegel

Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 5:14 p.m.

It looks very much like the man who worked in the restaurant. I work directly across the street and saw him bending over, breathing heavy on the sidewalk before anyone responded. He looked as if he'd breathed too much smoke. I do know the fire alarm there was loud enough to hear from my office and had been going off for at least five to eight minutes before anyone responded. They've had firefighters on the roof, in front, and around back of the building. From the roof of the Ann-Ashley structure you can see they ripped open a few ventilation holes in the roof and opened the second floor windows in the back. As of 1:12 there is still smoke coming from the front doors of Sheesh.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 5:04 p.m.

Yes, it would be nice to know. The picture appears to be a male dressed all in white.

Karen Collins

Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 4:48 p.m.

Just an FYI... there was also an Ypsilanti fire truck there when I walked by.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 7:16 p.m.

I guess not too many fires.. every fire fighter wanted to participate?? It was a beautiful day... not to hot or cold!


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 4:41 p.m.

Considering this is right around the corner from FD HQ, wonder why a Pittsfield truck was needed? Couldn't possibly be because a surround and drown policy that is ok for residents is not so goodly on Main Street. Couldn't possibly be that a burnt out hulk in your neighborhood is not a big deal but one on Main Street.... Couldn't possibly be because the Mayor and the other "admins" have gutted safety services in AA.. nah...


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 5:02 p.m.

Pittsfield and Ypsilanti City were asked to furnish units with towers which can reach the roofs of the buildings inviolved. This is very typical of the mutual aid that can be furnished by neighboring departments. Ann Arbor has plenty of police and fire personnel on hand, as well as HVA support. Looks like a good response by Ann Arbor and our neighbors.


Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 4:54 p.m.

Now Ricebrnr, before throwing allegations like that around you might also consider the possibility of concern that this restaurant generates a lot of grease, and is directly joined to a number of other businesses to which fire could easily and quickly spread (more readily than fire may jump houses in a residential neighborhood anyway). It may just be possible that when a call comes in for a place like this, they overreact as a measure of precaution, presuming and preparing for the worst possible developments. Better too many than too few. Still, I have to admit - Seven trucks including one from Pittsfield? How could they even fit that many in close enough proximity to this building to be effective? I hope everyone's okay.

4 Fingers

Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 4:52 p.m.

agreed. And I wonder what the bill will be to A2 from the surrounding communities for their services.

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Aug 22, 2011 : 4:51 p.m.

I'm in favor of more fire fighters. I'm in favor of reopening #2 as well. As a city resident I'm willing to give up less important thing to get there. That's my disclaimer To toss out a possible answer your first question, maybe it wasn't needed. In any case 7 fire trucks seems like a good response. And ya I know it leaves other possible emergency's at risk. (see my disclaimer)