Fire breaks out at Wise Guys Bar & Grill in Clinton Township

Posted at 8:25 AM, Dec 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-11 00:13:50-05

Dozens of people are out of work following a devastating fire in Clinton Township early Sunday morning.

A fire started in Wise Guys Bar & Grill around 5:30 a.m. No one was injured inside; however, the after effects are expected to hit a number of people as the Holidays approach.

“That’s our number one priority,” said the owner, Laura Wise, off-camera as tears ran down her face.

Wise noted that roughly 40 to 50 employees work at the Garfield Road location, they have a second location but she said it’d be impossible to find work for all of her employees.

It was the hardest part of the situation to stomach as she stood in a parking lot surrounded by co-workers, family and friends watching her business burn.

“I was just like, ‘Oh my God!’” said Melissa Sodini, a family friend. “I was in total shock!”

Sodini was among the two dozen people who drove to the bar and looked on as firefighters tried to douse the flames with water. The fire burned so hot that eventually the roof collapsed in a section of the building and firefighters had be evacuated.

Adding to the complication, the fire marshal noted that DTE crews struggled to get the power turned off to the building. He said it’d slow the process of getting crews inside to investigate the cause, which at this time is not known.

While the bar and restaurant will garner a lot of attention, it should be noted that several other local businesses will be hurt by the fire.

Dianna Corbley, the manager of Arthur’s Hair Salon, said she was alerted to the fire when a motion sensor alarm tripped in her business. Firefighters had to make an emergency entrance into her business to attack the fire as it began to spread throughout the building.

She believes that most of the damage was smoke and water, but it could be a long time until they open their doors.

Her co-worker, Lisa Stetter, said she’s hoping that nearby salons with open chairs contact them so they can continue the work. Stetter said at least nine women rely on paychecks from the business, and currently they can’t get inside to even call their workers.

“This is my only paycheck and it’s the same for a lot of my co-workers,” said Stetter. “Yes, it’s our livelihood. It’s a job, but it’s also family first. We need to figure this out.”

Corbley asked that anyone who can offer help to email her at

The fire marshal said they’ll continue to work to determine a cause of the fire — at this time it’s not known where the fire started.