DES MOINES, Iowa (July 16, 2007) — Arson investigators and Des Moines police are still probing an early morning blaze on June 18 at Holt's Sales and Service, where three unidentified people were caught on a surveillance camera setting fire to the dealership.
The Des Moines-based company sells tire and wheel assemblies to trailer manufacturers.
Despite barbed wire fencing, surveillance cameras and an alarm system, the perpetrators were able to enter the property and set fire to wooden pallets located outside and adjacent to the warehouse that are used to hold merchandise, Loss Prevention Manager Tracey Benson said. “They were able to set fire to one pallet and (the fire) spread,” he said.
No one was injured in the fire, but the company lost more than 600 15-inch radial trailer tires from smoke damage and 200 wooden pallets were burned. The damage estimate is approximately $19,000 for the tires alone, Mr. Benson said.
The exterior of the building's north side suffered fire damage, and four garage doors had to be replaced after firefighters broke in to stop the blaze.
“No fire entered the building, just the smoke, so we are still operable,” he said.
Although the facility is located in an inner-city neighborhood Mr. Benson described as “not the best location in the city,” the company will not increase security precautions other than storing the pallets inside, he said.