Jeff Mosholder jokes that in a couple months his store-Dumbauld's Tire Service Inc.-is going to have newly remodeled, nice-looking service bays and a waiting room, but not by choice.
Dumbauld's Tire caught fire during the early morning hours of May 1, causing an estimated $300,000-$350,000 in damage, said Mr. Mosholder, co-owner of Dumbauld's. Firefighters arrived on the scene at about 6:01 a.m. and had the blaze contained almost half an hour later, said Terry Wilson, a state police fire marshal.
``It could have been a lot worse,'' he said, noting that most of the destruction was limited to one bay, which is attached to the store's office. Damage spread to the office as well.
All of Dumbauld's tire-changing equipment, two of its four service bays and two of three service trucks were destroyed or damaged. No tires caught fire, but Mr. Mosholder said inventory valued at $100,000 was damaged by heat and smoke.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but Mr. Wilson said the blaze has been determined to be accidental and started with a Ford F-350 service truck parked in one of the bays.
``No one knows how the truck caught fire,'' Mr. Mosholder said. ``I don't know if they'll ever let us know. I don't know how it works.''
The store was closed May 1-2 and again on May 10 for demolition work on the damaged bays. Mr. Mosholder, whose office now is in a temporary trailer, said the office needs to be gutted and redone, and everything inside needs to be pressure washed and painted.
``People actually were coming in and getting work done. We kept fairly busy,'' he said.
The single-store dealership is open for business as Mr. Mosholder said his supplier, Eastman Tire Supplies, brought in two new tire changers and a spin balancer and a local dealer, John Spino of Spino Tire Service in Greensburg, Pa., is loaning him a service truck. Only one bay, which is detached from the main building, is functional.
The outlet is located near the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and much of its business is commercial tire service and agricultural tires. Dumbauld's offers Firestone farm tires; Bridgestone, Firestone, Continental and General truck tires; and Bridgestone, Firestone, Kelly and Republic passenger and light truck tires.
Mr. Mosholder and his two brothers, Scott and Brian, bought the dealership last year from their father Max, who had owned the company since 1972.