A fire gutted a seasonal rental cottage at Baileys On the Rocks Cottages in Baileys Harbor May 3. The fire at 7962 Ward Street was called into the Baileys Harbor Fire Department at 7:35 pm.
“The structure is a total loss,” said Baileys Harbor Fire Chief Brian Zak. “By the time we arrived the fire was through the roof.”
The cottage was owned by Kathy Westover of Appleton, who is grateful nobody was injured in the fire at the vacant cottage. She had high praise for the firefighters who responded to the call.
“The fire department has been very helpful,” she said. “Everyone I’ve dealt with has been friendly and professional, and they did a great job containing the fire so it didn’t spread to the other cottage or the trees. We’re lucky to have them.”
Westover said the fire may have been related to some contract work being done on the cottage, but she isn’t blaming anyone.
“Accidents happen, that’s why you have insurance,” she said. “I don’t hold anyone responsible. You can rebuild houses.”
It’s now up to insurance companies to determine what started the blaze. Westover had visited Door County the last two weekends to get the cottages ready for the summer and make improvements, but now her preparation for the season includes an unwanted task.
“I’m very concerned about my renters,” she said. “I have to start calling them to let them know what happened. I have great renters who come back each year, and I hate to disrupt their vacation plans.”
Westover bought the cottages six years ago after visiting the peninsula for years, jumping at the opportunity to buy a couple of the few old cottages left in Northern Door County.
“It’s a sad day,” she said. “But I’m very fortunate nobody was hurt, and all I can do is move forward.”
Firefighters from the Egg Harbor, Jacksonport, Ephraim, Gibraltar and Sister Bay/ Liberty Grove fire departments assisted Baileys Harbor firefighters in putting out the blaze. About 30 firefighters used 7,000 – 8,000 gallons of water to put the fire out, Zak said.