Fire destroys nearly century-old barn at Manresa Jesuit Retreat House in Bloomfield Hills

Firefighters battle a blaze Wednesday afternoon at a century-old barn on the 39-acre property of Manresa Jesuit Retreat House in Bloomfield Hills. (Courtesy of Manresa Jesuit Retreat House)

No one injured in Wednesday blaze; Manresa says activities will continue as normal

BLOOMFIELD HILLS — A fire destroyed the larger of two barns at Manresa Jesuit Retreat House on Wednesday afternoon, April 10.

Manresa spokesman Steve Raymond said the fire broke out at 4 p.m. and quickly spread through the 25-foot-by-60-foot barn, destroying it and significantly damaging an adjacent barn. 

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined and plans to rebuild have not yet been released. Both barns were built before 1926, when the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) purchased the property.

“We are sorry to lose the barn,” Raymond said, “but fortunately no one was injured.” He added the barn was “almost empty.” 

The barn was “affectionately known” as the “dumpster barn” after the receptacle it housed, according to Manresa’s website.

Bloomfield Hills Public Safety, Bloomfield Hills Township and Troy Fire Departments responded to the blaze, which was extinguished within 30 minutes. Regular activities continued at the retreat house.

The Manresa Retreat House is a 39-acre campus built by the Jesuits on a former country estate to host retreats based on the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.