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Monday, May 2, 2016

Early morning blaze destroys Salem business

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

DEVASTATED: Leon's Automotive Shop in Salem is a burned out shell thanks to a fire that occurred Oct. 19. Four cars were also inside the shop but there were no injuries. It took 10 firemen nearly two hours to put out the blaze. Photo/Jared

A devastating fire swept through Leon's Automotive Shop on Highway 62/412 in Salem Oct. 19 destroying the shop and four cars inside.

Salem Fire Chief Heath Everett said the blaze began at approximately 3:30 a.m. Everett said no one was injured and the cause of the fire was unknown as of press time.

"No foul play is suspected in this fire," Everett said.

The owner of the property, Joel "Leon" Lundry Jr. was contacted by his security system just as the fire started, Everett said.

When Lundry arrived, flames were shooting through the shop's interior said Eric Reynolds' who has worked in Lundry's shop for seven years.

Everett said the fire started in the northwest corner of the shop. He said 10 fire fighters from the Salem Fire Department fought the blaze for more than two hours.

Firefighters from Byron and Camp assisted in fighting the fire, Everett said. He said approximately 125,000 gallons of water and 10 gallons of foam were used.

In addition to the shop building and cars inside, four cars in the parking lot were also damaged, Everett said.

An adjacent automotive parts store was not damaged.

Reynolds, who worked at Leon's Automotive Shop as a general mechanic, said he hopes Lundry will be able to rebuild his shop soon.

"I've worked here for a long time and I like working here," Reynolds said. "I've got two kids and a wife to take care of."

Reynolds 1984 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck was among the vehicles damaged.

Reports that a 55-gallon barrel of oil exploded inside the building are untrue, Reynolds said.

"We don't even have 55-gallon barrel with oil in it," Reynolds said.

He said he and Lundry were able to salvage a couple of tool boxes and some hand tools, but most of the items in the shop were destroyed.

Until the automotive shop is rebuilt, Reynolds said he will try to find work elsewhere.

Besides Lundry and Reynolds, Lundry's wife and son were the only other employees at the shop.

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