Scorpions Motorcycle Club plans to rebuild clubhouse after devastating fire

As the investigation continues into the fire that destroyed a local motorcycle club's headquarters, members are making plans to rebuild.

"We're waiting on the insurance people. The guys in the club will clear out the debris. We'll check the concrete — I'm sure it will have to be replaced," Scorpions Motorcycle Club president Chris Page said. "We have electricians, carpenters and plumbers in the club. We will build on the same footprint."

The clubhouse, located on Milford Road in Lyon Township, was destroyed by an early morning fire Sept. 22 that is under investigation by the Oakland County Sheriff's Department arson unit. The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms answered a request to bring a dog trained to alert for accelerants and chemicals to the scene — the sheriff's office dog wasn't available.

"The cause of the fire is pending. It's under investigation as a suspicious fire. The dog indicated accelerants (were present), but until the test results come back, we can't say for sure," said Lt. Mark Venus, head of the Lyon substation.

The Scorpions had been based in Detroit since forming in 1965. In 1999, the club bought a small vacant farmhouse with a garage in Lyon Township as a clubhouse for a new chapter. Currently, the Lyon chapter has 33 members.

"I joined the club 32 years ago. I moved out this way, so I started another chapter," Page said, adding the Scorpions have 18 chapters spread from Traverse City and Monroe to Illinois, Virginia and Texas. "We ran into these guys in Texas who had a Scorpions Motorcycle Club, but not the same logo. We became buddies and merged."

Over the years, club members had added two additions, a bandstand and deck to the garage. The front of part of the original building, which is still standing, will have to be torn down, Page said, due to smoke and water damage.

"We've had weddings, funerals and graduation parties — all my kids had their graduation parties here," Page said. "If a friend needs a clubhouse, we open the door instead of them paying $1,000 to rent a hall."

The fire at the Scorpions clubhouse came a couple of days after a suspicious fire destroyed the Street Royalty Motorcycle Club on Detroit's west side. Page, who owns a Brighton tattoo parlor, said the clubs are on good terms and he doesn't believe the fires are connected. At the Scorpions clubhouse, a piece of heavy equipment was found on-site and had apparently been used to move a large safe, which hadn't been opened.

Since the fire, Page said he'd been contacted by people offering donations to help get the clubhouse rebuilt.

"I didn't realize everyone likes us. I got a call from a Plymouth chili cook-off who wanted to donate. We don't need it — I said give it to an abused women's shelter," Page said, adding when club parties have too much food members donate it to a group on Cass Avenue in Detroit. "We get clothing donations. We sent a lot of stuff downtown."

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LeAnne Rogers
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