Alpena rallies to help man after fire strikes iconic saloon


An April 2, 2020, satellite image of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula courtesy NOAA.

ALPENA, Mich. (AP) — A community in the northern Lower Peninsula is raising money to help a man who his business when fire destroyed a 134-year-old building.

Jon Benson was a day away from reopening John A. Lau Saloon after the coronavirus shutdown when fire struck last week in downtown Alpena.

Police Chief Joel Jett says Jon Benson often is one of the first people to help during tragic events in Alpena. Jett says it’s now time to “step up” and help Benson.

A Gofundme page had raised $8,000 by Monday. The fire also caused some damage next door at the Thunder Bay Theatre.

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