By Jim Newell
It wasn’t the way Dr. Sam Caruso wanted to start his Tuesday, getting the call that his chiropractic office in downtown Lake Orion was on fire.
“Thank god no one was injured. No injuries,” Caruso said. “We’ve got a great fire department and thank god for station one getting here quick and efficiently and finding the source of the problem quickly. It looks like the fire is done. Luckily, no major damage.”
Orion Township firefighters responded to the Caruso Chiropractic office, 25 S. Lapeer St., shortly before 9 a.m. July 7 after getting a call of smoke on the south end of the building near the electrical box.
Lake Orion police officers blocked off parts of Front and Lapeer streets near Auto Zone while firefighters inspected the building and grounds.
Firefighters searched the building for smoke and the origin of the fire, but after a thorough inspection it appeared that the cause of the fire was a cigarette butt that someone carelessly flicked into the landscaping mulch on the south end of the Caruso Chiropractic building.
“I’m pretty upset that smokers don’t have enough respect to throw their cigarette butts in their own vehicles or into a proper area of disposal,” Caruso said. “Heals up from Smokey the Bear: please make sure that you put your cigarette butts in an ash tray, not in my mulch.”
And while there was not any major structural damage, Caruso said that, especially in lieu of the COVID-19 pandemic, shutting down for repairs does hurt business.
“I’m just kind of upset from having a fire next to my office building, apparently from cigarette butts that are on my mulch. It caused me to shut my business down for days,” Caruso said. “It burned my cable line and my main power line going into my office, so I’ll have to shut down for a couple of days. Hopefully, not for more than a few days.”