Harsens Island fire: at least six homes burn down

Crews from St. Clair County are fighting a massive fire at multiple structures on St. Clair's Harsens Island on Wednesday.

SkyFOX was overhead metro Detroit covering other stories when they spotted a massive plume of black smoke billowing up from Lake St. Clair. As they flew east, the picture grew clearer as several structures appeared to be burning.

FOX 2 has learned that structures are cottages from The Old Club, a resort and yacht club on the island. The cottages line the St. Clair River and face toward Canada's Seaway Island.

It appears a total of six homes burned to the ground in the massive fire and firefighting boats were on scene to help put out the fire at the homes. 

Harsens Island is a small strip of land with a population of around 1,000. It is accessible only by ferry.

The Old Club was founded as a hunting club in 1872 in Detroit and guests would ride the Great Lakes Steam, Tashmoo, from Detroit to the island. It evolved into its current name, The Old Club, and added tennis courts and accommodations for nightly stays on the island in the early 1900s. 

The homes that burned down on Wednesday were all seasonal homes, meaning they were vacant at the time, FOX 2 has learned.

There were workers performing maintenance on a barge earlier in the day. It's not known if that's linked to the fire.

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At least six structures burn down on Harsens Island on Wednesday, March 8. Credit: Harsens Island Photography