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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

Autos By Nelson - Click for Website
Fire destroys body shop, custom vehicles

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

By K.A. WAGONER - Staff Writer

No one was seriously injured when a fire destroyed a body shop in Franklin County Saturday morning.

The fire at Classic Cars of Virginia at 11 Orchard Acres Road in Bassett started in the area of a wood stove, according to Franklin County Fire Marshal Bennie Russell.

The blaze quickly spread because of all the combustible materials -- tires, gasoline, paint, etc. -- inside the body shop, Russell said.

A neighbor called 911 when she saw heavy smoke coming from the garage and called the owner, Howard Webb, who tried to extinguish the blaze with a garden hose, Russell said.

Webb was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.

Damage to the building and contents is estimated in excess of $650,000, Russell said. The contents, which included tools, equipment and at least three custom vehicles, were valued at about $500,000.

The body shop was not insured, Russell said.

Volunteers with Fork Mountain, Ferrum, Henry, Rocky Mount and two Henry County fire departments battled the blaze for more than four hours, Russell said.

Also responding to the 9:08 a.m. call were Fork Mountain and Ferrum volunteer rescue squads, public safety, Virginia State Police and the Franklin County Sheriff's Office. The Virginia Department of Transportation responded to the scene to deal with the water from the fire trucks running off and freezing in the roadway.

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