Business Gutted By New Year's Day Fire
Firefighters started the New Year by battling a blaze at a longtime business. The auto mechanic shop caught fire on Tuesday morning in Sapulpa. News On 6 anchor Craig Day reports New Year's Day used to be a special day for the owner of the business. That changed with Tuesday's loss.
When firefighters arrived just after 9:00 a.m., smoke was billowing from Leroy's Automotive on West Taft.
"Whenever we arrived it was fully involved in that building," said Sapulpa Fire Department Captain Lonnie Vandolah.
Firefighters quickly worked to block the road, keep the fire from spreading and to put out the fire which considering the flammable materials inside a mechanic's shop, could be even more dangerous.
"There were a few mild explosions when we first pulled up. We did pull some propane bottles out of there and a few cans of oil. But they were able to knock it down pretty quickly," said Captain Vandolah.
Firefighters put out the fire quickly, but the business is a total loss.
Bob Cooper has been friends with the owner of the shop, Leroy Humphrey, for 25 years.
"Leroy has so many friends. And they depend on Leroy you know to take care of their automobile needs. It's going to be a great loss," said Cooper.
A loss made even harder because of its timing. It is 34 years to the day that Humphrey opened at the location.
"In 15 minutes it is wiped out. It's pretty sad," said Cooper.
Firefighters say the business isn't insured. Several cars also burned inside the building. Investigators will now try to pinpoint a cause.
"There's a wood stove also in there, so that's going to be something we'll look at," said Captain Vandolah.
"It's always a loss when you lose a business in a community such as Sapulpa," said Cooper.
Firefighters were able to keep the fire from spreading to a wheel alignment shop next door.