View Full Version : Homer Mill Haunted House Burns down
05-16-2010, 07:33 AM
Hey Guys, I havent posted online in a LONG TIME, but felt the need to let you know about another industry haunt, Burning down. I received word this morning that the Haunted HOMER MILL located in Michigan about 15 minutes away from our Haunted House, was engulfed in flames this morning at 4 am, We drove by at 8 am and the nearly the entire structure was burnt to the ground.
According to a friend, The owners were working on a remodel earlier that day.
Apparently the owner Lance was onsite and had stepped outside when all the power went off and he smelled smoke.
Thankfully Lance is alright. Our condolences and prayers go out to their loss.
For those that didnt know the Mill, it was situated in a Historical Grain mill in the town of Homer, Lance and his team did a remarkable job of turning it into a 4 story haunted house, with full bar and restaurant.
05-16-2010, 07:36 AM
How awful! So sorry to hear that.. :( Thank goodness he wasn't hurt in the fire.
05-16-2010, 08:00 AM
If there is anything I can do for you guys let me know. Shane and its my thoughts and prayers are with you guys! Shane this time.
05-16-2010, 08:18 AM
thank goodness no was hurt I hope their insurance comapny treats them right. Prayers sent for them.
05-16-2010, 09:31 AM
That sucks, but at least no one was hurt. Hope things turn out ok for them.
05-16-2010, 12:32 PM
Thats just sad......... haunted and historic what a terrible loss for them..A little of what built America and a little of what scared America is now gone.....
05-16-2010, 03:42 PM
05-16-2010, 06:46 PM
Lisa Hegge felt helpless as she stood and watched the bar, restaurant and haunted house of the Homer Mill burn to the ground Sunday morning.
“Completely devastating,” said Hegge, who managed the haunted house at the mill.
The fire started sometime before 4 a.m. and quickly spread through the more than 120-year-old building. Hegge, who lives near the mill, said she noticed flames coming from the area around 3:45 a.m. She ran to the scene and watched the fire grow. When she left at 6 a.m., the whole building was ablaze and had started to collapse.
“All of us employees just sat here and watched it go up,” she said. “There was a lot of tears.”
Homer Fire Chief Kurt Swope said there was little firefighters could do to save the mill when they arrived at 109 N. Byron St. around 4 a.m. Crews stayed outside the building to contain the fire. Seven fire departments assisted the Homer Fire Department. About 70 firefighters worked at the scene. Three departments drove up and down neighboring streets looking for embers and keeping other houses safe, Swope said.
Crews worked for hours, draining the village’s 370,000 gallon water supply and eventually drawing water from the Kalamazoo River, which runs near the mill. Swope said it was one the largest fires he remembers in Homer.
“It’s just tragic for the town, a lot of history there,” he said.
Built in the 1880s, the mill operated until 1970. James L. Miller bought the mill in 1974 and opened it as a dinner theater a year later. It closed in 1983. In 1996, John and Alice Blakemore bought the mill and opened it as a restaurant and banquet hall. Lance and Susan Cuffle then bought the mill and opened it as a haunted house, restaurant and bar in 2006.
Lance Cuffle was spending the night at the mill when the fire started, Hegge said. Several of the employees were working long hours renovating the building in preparation for this season’s haunted house. Cuffle made it out safely, Hegge said.
Michigan State Police Trooper John Richards, who is investigating the fire with the Homer Village Police Department, said Cuffle called and reported the fire around 4 a.m. The cause of the fire is not known, Richards said. Investigators will return to the scene on Monday.
This is sad to hear. But it is good that no one was injured in this.
I hope that all involved can get situated and I hope the insurance will do what they are there to do.
05-17-2010, 03:59 AM
I know that Lance the owner used to sleep in the Mill alot, Im thankful that he was not sleeping this time, I dont think there would have been any geeting out of that fire.
05-17-2010, 04:45 AM
I totally feel for them. One of the haunts I worked for after bouncing back from the bad season of 9/11, a location change the year prior, and spending 2 entire summers on a complete redesign and build at the new location, 2 months before opening for the second year juvenile's broke in and burned the place down. I had a personal 10 year collection of costuming and makeup inside, and so many irreplaceable items for everyone involved.
I was given a phone call by someone just telling me to turn on the news to see the house just engulfed via helicopter cam. Went there the next morning, the building still smoldering...only things left were some hydrocal positive castings of faces (which looked quite creepy in the rubble), the twisted steel beams, and the armatures of all of our Scarefactory animations. Everything else was reduced to ash no more than a foot high. Even a second attraction we set up and took down every year stored under the awning of the building was obliterated. I have the most depressing video ever....that is really hard to watch. In order of when we first secured the building (which was a haunt prior), after tearout of the old structure, our new haunt during operation, then the aftermath that next morning. Took tons of pictures that day too.
Of course it had to be minors, and state (maybe federal) laws mandate that the families of minors cannot be held responsible for more than X amount of dollars....not even close to the value of what was lost both financially and nostalgically.
While I know very well first hand that a lot can never be replaced, hopefully they had good insurance on the building being they had other businesses there. My heart goes out to them, and hopefully their situation can be a little better in the end. Thankfully no one was hurt.
Mike "Pogo" Hach
05-17-2010, 06:50 AM
What a sad situation to be in. Hopefully they can recover from this tragedy and find another place to reopen their livelihood.
Thoughts are will them and crew. Thank goodness no one was hurt.
05-17-2010, 08:10 AM
Sorry to hear about this..... I wish them the best in making a quick recovery!
05-24-2010, 05:51 AM
We Put together a memorial page for the Homer Mill on our website, to help honor the mill and hopefully counter some of the Negative rumor mill that is flying rampant around these parts (Michigan).... As always I cannot understand why Everyone always has to be so negative, and seek the worst of people. Im sure the Owners feel bad enough without all of the accusations being hurled at them from all over the place.
anyway check it out......
Sidenote, the Fire is still under investigation, they brought in heavy equipment to dig into the basement and accelerant detecting dogs.
05-29-2010, 12:34 PM
sad Sad story. Read here
05-29-2010, 02:29 PM
I just found this place last fall and had it on my list to visit with my creww this year. Hope all turns out for them.
06-03-2010, 09:13 AM
Brett, The owners have their Other Haunted house nearby, THE UNDERWORLD, and you can always stop by our place while in the neighborhood...:) Unfortunately, The Homer Mill can never be replaced with all of its natural ambiance and decor.
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