Despite losing his building to a fire, owner John Dickinson has Scarboro Auto Parts up and running.

Just days after the Aug. 21 fire at the 40 Holmes Road building, Dickinson and his 14 employees were back at work, running the business from a trailer on the site. Calls to the store are forwarded to cell phones. Dickinson has already begun rebuilding, which he hopes to complete by winter.

“The building is just gone, it burned from one end to the other,” he said.

He lost all the stock and much of the equipment. Dickinson said his insurance carrier will not fully cover the losses, estimated at $750,000.

All of the computers’ hard drives were saved, though, making it possible to get the business going once again.

“We really haven’t missed that much,” said Dickinson. “We’ll just do what we can.”

Chief Michael Thurlow of the Scarborough Fire Department said the state fire marshal’s office has concluded its investigation into the fire, ruling it accidental. No one was in the building when the fire was first noticed around 9 p.m., he said, and no one was injured.

“There wasn’t enough evidence to put your finger on an exact cause,” said Thurlow, though investigators believed the fire began in a garage in back of the offices. Fire marshals think the fire could have started in one of the bays where a car was being taken apart. Thurlow said it was possible that something overheated and sparked the fire.

“The fire had a head start,” Thurlow said, adding that several factors made it hard to save the building.

The facility was built before sprinkler systems and fire alarms were required, and it is located about a mile away from the nearest water source. Compressed gas and air bags stored in the building were continuously exploding as well, said Thurlow, making it dangerous to send in firefighters.

“At that point we went into a defensive mode,” he said. “It was a very dangerous fire.”

Now, Dickinson said everyone is pitching in to help get the business back where it was.

“We’ve got good people running around like ants getting it done,” said Dickinson. “Everyone is moving forward to get it done.”

The new, 10,000-square-foot building will be virtually the same, only this time, said Dickinson, it will be up to all current fire codes. Scarboro Auto Parts has been in business since 1964.


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