Morning fire strikes auto body shop

A boiler fire spread to the north wall of Legend Autobody and Paint on the morning of Nov. 24.

By Joel van der Veen

DAVIDSON — Quick action by firefighters helped to minimize the damage after a fire broke out in an auto body shop in Davidson on Friday morning.

Barry Millham, who owns and operates Legend Autobody and Paint, said the fire originated from the boiler in the north end of the building on Railway Street.

Employee Trevor Reich discovered the fire shortly before 8 a.m. and called Millham, who was still at home.

Millham said he drove straight to the shop and called 9-1-1 soon afterward.

They tried to fight the fire using a fire extinguisher, but before long the flames had spread to the north wall.

He said the fire department arrived within a few minutes, giving them “two thumbs up” for a prompt response.

While the fire hall is located only one block away, Millham said he was still impressed given the fact that firefighters still needed to travel there and suit up before attending to the fire.

“They were here in record time,” said Millham. “That was pretty awesome.”

Fire chief Clayton Schilling said they received the call at 8:08 a.m., with 10 members responding.

Firefighters removed siding from the north wall, allowing them to combat the hot spots and quickly extinguish the fire.

They remained on scene till roughly 9 a.m. There were no injuries.

The building suffered little in the way of structural damage, while most of the interior damage was smoke-related.

Power, heat and water were shut off on Friday morning, and Millham said he wasn’t sure how soon the shop would be able to open again.

“We haven’t had time to process anything,” he said. “We just have to deal with things as they come up.”

He said he was dealing with “a lot of unknowns — what we’re going to do while we get this fixed up, how quickly we can get rolling again.”

Millham has operated his business in town since 2004 and moved to the current location in 2007. The shop employs himself, his wife Janice and two other people.