Future Ford is bouncing back after fire

CLOVIS, Calif.

Cars are being sold and serviced and things appear to be almost back to normal. While one service building was gutted the work has been moved to two other buildings while damage from the fire is still being calculated.

Mechanics are back at work, servicing cars and trucks at Future Ford. The operation is recovering quickly from the fire that destroyed the dealership's main shop last Friday.

"We developed a plan first thing Saturday morning. Most of the team came down here we walked around we took input from everyone, and everyone has a place to work and we are fully operational," said Service Manager Tracy Gill.

The fire destroyed the large shop building, 14 cars, along with all the equipment and tools in the shop.

"Nine technicians lost their toolboxes and they are valued from some 30 to 60 thousand dollars, it just depends on what they have in there. But the technicians are teamed up, working together sharing tools, the company is going to invest in more tools, we are just right back on track," said Gill.

The fire started when gasoline, being drained from a fuel tank, ignited.

Clovis Fire Chief Lee Kraft said it may not be possible to pinpoint exactly why it happened. "It was just an accident. Their procedures are fine. The mechanic was changing a fuel tank on a vehicle and fuel had dripped to the ground and hit an ignition source and caught the place on fire."

Insurance adjusters are still calculating the costs of this fire. Early estimates put the loss at well over a million dollars, but despite the fire, General Manager Randy Skate said it's already business as usual. "Everything is good, our service department is open, our sales department is open, we're doing fine."

Skates said customers who's cars were destroyed in the fire will be fully compensated.

The fire chief said the building that burned was built more than 40-years ago and not required to have fire sprinklers. Construction on a new service building will get underway soon. It will be equipped with fire sprinklers and the fire chief says an additional hydrant will be located on the property.

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