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Fire causes $2 M in damage to Jack Williams Tire in Monroe Co.

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Jun 15 2013 06:19:15 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 17 2013 10:35:38 AM CDT

Co to rebuild after tire center fire

COOLBAUGH TWP., Pa. -

A family-owned tire store in Monroe County burned to the ground in hours.  And all crews could do was try to put out the flames.

Firefighters scrambled to the scene Saturday night.

"About 6:26PM we got a call for a structure fire at Jack Williams," explained Pocono Summit Volunteer Fire Company Chief George Tallmadge.

Flames were shooting out of the single story building, and pitch black smoke billowed from the family owned company on route 940 in Coolbaugh Township.

"Right when I got on interstate 80 I could see the smoke about 40 miles away," shared Jack Williams Executive Vice President Jason Williams.  "When a tire store goes on fire everybody gets a little scared because of the rubber and oils and all the different things."

The fire chief says that's exactly what helped fuel the flames.  Dozens of fire crews were called in to help.

"We called a lot of tankers in probably from 8 different companies to get water in," explained Tallmadge.  "We ran a five inch line 1,800 feet up to Mount Pocono Plaza on the hydrant."

Thousands of gallons of water was trucked in and sprayed on the inferno.  The roof collapsed as the fight went on, stretching close to five hours. The business, and the five cars inside waiting to be repaired were destroyed.  Sunday they sat blackened and burned.  The Williams family estimates the fire did $2-million worth of damage.  But, the worst losses were avoided.  The fire started about 30 minutes after the last employee left for the night, and no one was hurt.

"We're going to rebuild this one bigger and better than ever," said Williams.

He says all 15 employees who work at the Mount Pocono location will be placed in other shops, and earning a pay check Monday.

"We're going to try and keep business as normal for everybody as long as we can."

To do that, the company tells us it's looking to open a temporary location nearby, and has even started scouting shops.  Then they will work on rebuilding this location.  The outlook is quick.

"We're guessing 2 to 3 months," explained Williams.  "Our contractors already on site and mobilizing, so as soon as we get the word from our insurance company it will be torn down and we'll start laying brick as soon as we can."

The fire marshal is still investigating what sparked the fire.