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Food warmer catches fire in Hancock

Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette The quick response of the Hancock Fire Department to a call of a possible structure fire at 426 Quincy Street Wed. morning, eliminated the possibility of fire damage to a historic Hancock structure. The cause of the alarm was a smoking steam well food warmer that had been left on the counter in the front section of Studio Pizza’s Orpheum Theater.

HANCOCK — The Hancock Fire Department responded to a report of a potential structure fire at 426 Quincy Street Wednesday morning that turned out to be smoke from a crock pot that had been left unsupervised.

Smoke in the building was reported at approximately 10:50 a.m. A deputy with the Houghton County Sheriff’s Office was the first one on the scene and found the business level of the Orpheum building unoccupied, compelling him to break the glass on one of the entry doors to gain entrance to the building.

According to Police Chief Wayne Butler, the cause of the smoke was a large crock pot or steam well food warmer that had been left on in the front section of the Orpheum Theater. The appliance was removed from the building and extinguished by firefighters.

Aside of the broken glass door, there was no other damage reported at the time. No injuries were reported by residents of the second floor apartments.

The Hancock Fire Dept. was assisted on the scene by the Hancock City Police and the Houghton County Sheriff’s Office.

One of the city’s historic structures, the building opened in 1910 as the Orpheum, a vaudeville theater. As vaudeville gave way to motion pictures, the Orpheum Theater began showing movies. After being operated by the Fox Wolverine Corporation throughout the 1940s, the building was remodeled in 1959 when fire caused extensive damage to the interior of the building. It was then reopened under the name Pic Theater.

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