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      Five years after Ontonagon's Labor Day fire

      On Labor Day in 2008, an early morning fire blazed through an entire block on River Street in downtown Ontonagon destroying seven buildings.

      Five years later, owner Connie Shamion of the coffee shop, Connieâ??s, is keeping her spirits high.

      Shamion reopened her shop in an old gas station two years after her old shop was engulfed in flames and recalled the day through teary eyes.

      â??In the fire, I not only lost my business, I spent years collecting antiques, and it was just more personal,â?? she reminisced.

      What took a dozen fire departments nearly the entire day to smother is now just a grass lot and a painful memory for many.

      Shamion said things havenâ??t been quite the same since.

      â??Thatâ??s whatâ??s sad is so many of the young families have moved away, and we need to keep up,â?? she said. â??We need to find jobs in the area so they can, instead of just visiting Labor Day weekend, they can be home all the time.â??

      Connieâ??s was the only business to reopen after the fire and will be celebrating its three-year reopening September 5th.

      Though Shamion said her business has been doing well in the new location and has even been able to expand hours to year-round, she will always miss her old shop.

      â??I miss my old shop,â?? said Shamion. â??This shop is nothing like the old shop was. The old shop has more of my personality, where this is a gas station. You can only do so much with a gas station.â??