Former business owner finds his scrap yard on fire

Two homeless men living on the property bolted once the fire started

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Jason Emanoiul used to be the owner of Enterprise Iron and Metal, but recently, the business dissolved. 

Emanoiul said early Saturday July 29, he and his wife were out cleaning up the yard, when they found two homeless men in their late 50's, living inside an old semi-trailer on their lot.

"It's a nice little home base for them because they go around and pick up little bits and pieces of metal and take them over to Padnos or wherever else and turn it into money," Emanoiul said.

Emanouil said the men told him they had been living there for a week.

"When we got here at like 9:00, we walked inside and we heard something, we could smell something burning. Supposedly they said to my wife on the way out that it got cold last night and they were burning some of our office paperwork in a steel bucket inside the trailer," Emanoiul said.

He said the trailer was positioned right in front of the building.

"It was backed into the building right there and in a matter of 10 to 15 minutes, the whole trailer was you know, because it had cardboard and wood and papers," Emanoiul said.

So, Emanouil sprang into action.

"I hooked onto it with that hook right there with that truck, and just yanked it out there and got the heck out of there. i knew that once the tires caught on fire, our fire extinguishers and stuff like that isn't going to put it out," Emanoiul said.

Emanouil dragged the burning trailer away from the business.

"To get it away from the building because otherwise the building would have ended up...you know," Emanouil said.

But Emanoiul said what happened illustrates an even bigger problem.

"I don't know if they cleaned up over there behind the railroad tracks and stuff, but there used to be quite a few little camps and huts and stuff," Emanioul said.

He said it's an issue of homelessness within Grand Rapids.

"I think we have to watch these guys because I think they might get a kick out of this because they sure didn't stick around to help or anything like that," Emanioul said.

Fortunately no one was injured, Emanouil said the two men bolted once the trailer became engulfed. 

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