Fire destroys popular historic restaurant Karl’s Cabin

Feb. 16, 2023  PLYMOUTH VOICE.

Plymouth Michigan News


Don Howard

Staff Writer



Fire ripped through historic Salem Township roadhouse restaurant Karl’s Cabin last night causing extensive damage to the log cabin building built in 1947 near the border of Plymouth Township.

Dinnertime patrons were quickly evacuated from the dining room lounge of the 76-year-old structure after pouring smoke and flames enveloped the area.

Unofficial reports say It is believed the fire started in an outdoor smoker at the rear of the log cabin building, located at 6505 Godfredson, south of North Territorial Road.

The first alarm was received at 6:24 p.m. High winds hampered the firefighters. As there are no hydrants in the area all water to fight the fire was supplied from fire engine pumpers.

“We were fighting 15-to-20-foot flames in high winds. It was hard to control the flames under the old wood ceiling. Propane tanks in the rear were shooting off,” said Salem Township Fire Chief, James Rachwal. There were no reported injuries.

Rachwal said they were on scene for three hours and had the fire under control in less than two hours. He expressed his sincere thanks to Wayne, Oakland, Livingston and Washtenaw County mutual aid partners for their timely professional help that saved a good portion of the building.

Six area fire departments responded to the 3-Alarm fire, cleared the parking lot, and provided mutual aid to the Salem Township Fire Department. Firefighters responded to the scene from Ann Arbor City, Ann Arbor Township, Northfield Township, Lion Township, Northville City, Northville Township and Plymouth Township.

There was an outpouring of empathy on social media sites during the fire for the owners of the very popular eating establishment. The Ann Arbor Fire Department Facebook page said that although the building sustained fire, smoke and water damage a significant portion of the restaurant was saved.

Karl’s Cabin is the oldest log cabin in southeast Michigan.


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