145 Truck Stop Reopens After 2014 Fire
LEONI TWSP — The call came at four a.m. the day after Christmas in 2014. Two hours before the 145 Truck Stop was supposed to open that morning it was destroyed by a fire.
“Devastating, just devastating,” said co-owner Kim Miller, recalling that morning when she took the call. “I’ve got the gray hairs to prove it.”
Co-owners Miller and her sister Deb Helmlinger immediately planned to rebuild the popular truck stop at 6100 Ann Arbor Road.
“We intended on rebuilding the truck plaza from day one,” Miller said. “I stated on the day of the fire that we would rebuild.”
The 145 Truck Stop reopened earlier this month two years after it burned down on December 26, 2014 in the middle of the night.
Fire officials had determined that the fire wasn’t suspicious; an electrical problem caused the blaze. Nobody was injured.
The process of reconstruction has been “grueling,” Miller said. “No one wants to see their livelihood of 23 years go up in smoke and flames.”
Miller said that her family purchased the truck stop in 1991. She said that it was established in the 50s but the bank foreclosed on the property. “It was the 145 Truck Plaza with a restaurant, gas and diesel pumps, and a garage.”
In 2002 they acquired the Old Clock Restaurant, using it for office space and eventually converted it to the 145 Family Restaurant in 2015, expanding it to 4,000 square feet with the capacity of 85 diners with a new brick façade, windows, lighting, and freshly paved parking lot. The fire destroyed the original restaurant at the truck stop.
“We lived here morning and night, every day,” Miller said. “We needed to rebuild (the truck stop) in order to get our employees back to work, which, after almost a year they left their other jobs and came back to work for us. We have been truly blessed with our employees, our customers, and our community.”
The rebuilt 3,600 square foot 145 Truck Stop includes services from Corrigan Oil and Express Stop. It features Marathon gas and diesel pumps, showers, an ATM, and a convenience store replete with sundries and a beer cave. It is open 24 hours a day.
“It was hard to swallow a hard pill,” Miller said. “Faith, family, and community made it so we could get through this.”