June 9, 2014 at 6:29 pm

Detroit coney island destroyed in fire

Detroit — The Detroit Fire Department Arson Squad has ruled out an explosion in the fiery destruction of a long established coney island on the city’s west side early Monday morning.

“Our investigators have determined that it was a straight fire and not an explosion,” said Arson Chief Charles Simms about the blaze at Jack’s Coney Island, located in the 20000 block of West Seven Mile.

“We haven’t yet determined the cause of the fire and we’re still looking for a point of origin.”

Owner Jack Nuculaj said he got a call from the alarm company shortly after what was initially believed to be an explosion.

“We’ve been here since 1988,” said Nuculaj, 56, of Novi. “It’s 100 percent destroyed. I don’t know what to do next. I don’t know if I will rebuild. It’s too early to tell.”

Early Monday morning, inspectors from DTE Energy Co. were digging on site, turning off gas lines while firefighters put out hot spots.

There was no damage to buildings on either side of the coney island.

“We’re a neighborhood coney, and I’d say 80 percent of my customers are regulars,” Nuculaj said. “We’re closed on Sundays, but we were supposed to reopen at 6 a.m. Monday. Thankfully no one was here when it happened.”

tgreenwood@detroitnews.com
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A 2 a.m. blast leveled Jack's Coney Island, located in the 20000 block of W. Seven Mile, in Detroit on Monday. Owner Jack Nuculaj walks through the damage. / David Coates / The Detroit News