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Fire destroys iconic Poconos auto body shop

By John Craven, Reporter, JCraven@wfmz.com
Published On: Aug 22 2014 05:00:11 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 22 2014 06:18:19 PM CDT

It's been a fixture in the Poconos for decades, but now a Monroe County auto body shop is gone because of a huge fire Friday morning.

STROUD TWP., Pa. -

It's been a fixture in the Poconos for decades, but now a Monroe County auto body shop is gone because of a huge fire Friday morning.

Flames gutted Weiss Auto Body Shop on Progress Street in Stroud Township around four a.m.

When owner Jim Weiss showed up minutes later, he knew it was a total loss.

"There was flames going probably 30 feet in the air," he said. "This started in the right rear corner of the building, somewhere."

From the back garage area the flames spread rapidly. The heat was so intense, it even melted a tow truck's light bar. In all, 14 cars -- including a police cruiser -- were destroyed inside. Only memories and a few soggy receipts remain.

"I've been in business probably 37 years," said Weiss. "We've managed to stay here and stay in business through all of these years of hard times."

Weiss said most of the building is insured. He's hoping to get into a new temporary location before too long.

"We get cleaned up, wait for the insurance and see what we can do," he said.

The state fire marshal is still investigating how this fire started, but said it doesn't appear suspicious. Meantime, the shop's six employees wonder what's next.

"What are we going to -- [how are we going to] survive this? Or stay in business?", Weiss wondered aloud.