Non-profit recovering after flames destroy building

Four employees were in the building at the time of the fire; all got out safely.

MANISTEE COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) — A northern Michigan non-profit is one step closer to rebuilding after a fire destroyed one of their locations last month.

The Bay Area Recycling for Charities (BARC) building in Maple Grove Township near Kaleva went up in flames January 9, leaving the business in limbo.

However in the last month the BARC has received $15,000 in donations from local businesses and generous donors in northern Michigan. Their goal is to reach $30,000.

Four employees were in the building at the time of the fire. They all got out safely.

BARC recycles mattresses and appliances like refrigerators to help the environment.

A percentage of what people pay for those recycling services goes to local charities in the area.

“Our facility where we recycle mattresses had caught fire on our loading dock it burned a lot of the cardboard, paper and mattress material,” Andy Gale, founder of Bay Area Recycling for Charities.

Gale said the company was only days away from purchasing the building. The purchase would have allowed them to expand bringing 50 to 100 new jobs to the Kaleva area.

“It’s our goal to inspire people to recycle by donating our profits to local charities and its hard to make a profit in the condition were in right now,” Gale said. “[The fire] only burned about 13 percent of our building the rest of it is all water and smoke damage so we’re hoping to get it all rebuilt and back to the way it was.”

“We don’t want to lose the momentum and the customers and the things that we are doing,” Gale said. “So that’s what the relief fund is doing is to keep everything moving forward.”

The cause of the fire has not been determined yet.

If you have large items and appliances you would like to recycle the BARC recycling plant is on South Airport Road in Traverse City.

You can also donate HERE.

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