Theresa Man Vows To Rebuild Auto Repair Shop

Tools

For 51 years, Bill Laidlaw has worked as a mechanic out of his repair shop in Theresa.

To him, it's so much more than a job.

At 76 years old, it's his lifelong passion.

So when fire destroyed his garage Sunday night, he says he lost everything.

"It's hard to see everything you've worked for all your life go out, but there's nothing you can do," said Bill.

But the fire didn't start in Bill's garage.

It started in his neighbor's garage next door.

The fire spread up the hill before engulfing the shop in flames.

"The heat was tremendous. I mean between the heat and the smoke, it was unbelievable," said Bill.

Thousands of dollars in equipment, tools, and even a customer's car inside the garage were all destroyed.

But Bill's grandson, Tim Hunter, says what can't be destroyed is what the business meant to their family and the community. 

"There's people that have been bringing their cars here forever. And it's not the end of an era, but the re-making of an era," said Tim.

The fire also destroyed parts of the neighbor's house, where it started.

The family says they're glad no one was hurt.

They say looking forward, Bill plans to not only rebuild, but hopes to come back bigger and better than ever.

Monday, December 22, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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