A Gladwin man is facing charges connected to the July 18 fire at Lambert’s Meat Market, but the investigation is still ongoing. Cory Thomas, 27, of Gladwin, has been arrested by the Gladwin police and is charged with breaking and entering a building with intent. He is currently held in the Gladwin County Jail on a $200,000 cash/surety bond. His preliminary exam hearing is scheduled for November 2nd in Gladwin County District Court.
According to Gladwin Police Chief Eric Killian, the investigation into the blaze is still ongoing. Killian stated that he spoke with the prosecutor about the information but cannot release the report at this time. All information regarding the fire must come through the Gladwin police, as stated by Gladwin Rural Urban Fire Department Chief George Alward.
Meanwhile, Tim Lambert, the owner of Lambert’s Meat Market, expressed his plans to reopen the store in May 2024. He is uncertain whether it will be a remodel or a rebuild, but he described the fire as a “devastating loss.”
Lambert noted that a passerby discovered the fire and immediately called 911. The passerby also messaged Lambert on Facebook. Due to the close proximity of the fire department, firefighters quickly arrived at the scene. However, the fire had already become intense at the back of the building. Firefighters managed to prevent the blaze from spreading to the front of the store.
The Gladwin Rural Urban Fire Department, along with assistance from several other departments, worked for about five hours to extinguish the fire. A total of 40 firefighters, five engines, and two towers from Gladwin, Beaverton, Butman, Secord townships, and Harrison departments were involved in the firefighting operation. The Gladwin County Emergency Management also provided assistance.
Lambert explained that the fire caused heavy damage at the back of the store, while the front suffered from smoke and water damage. Fortunately, Lambert’s insurance covers the payment of workers during the shutdown. He expressed gratitude for this coverage as he does not want to lose his staff.
Initially, firefighters treated the fire as accidental since the building was unoccupied. However, it was later deemed a felony. The ongoing investigation will likely shed more light on the circumstances surrounding the fire at Lambert’s Meat Market.
As the community awaits further updates from the investigation, Tim Lambert remains hopeful for the future and aims to reopen his store in 2024. Until then, the support from the community is crucial to help him through this challenging period.