Shop fire recovery and rehab...

Discussion in 'Oklahoma Region' started by CamaroDoc, Oct 22, 2015.

  1. CamaroDoc

    CamaroDoc Veteran Member

    Sep 13, 2003
    Skiatook, Okla. 74070
    A few months ago, a good friend of mine lost his entire shop and it's contents to a shop fire that turned out to be burglary/arson. The fire wiped out most of his 30+ year collection of parts, tools, and equipment, and the loss of two cars that were parked inside. A 70 Corvette project and a 63 Corvair convertible show car that was down with a broken crankshaft. Unfortunately, both cars were a total loss.


    That weekend, about 20 fellow members of the Tulsa Street Scene car club gathered to try to salvage what we could from the shop. The roof had not collapsed as yet but was sagging and still smoldering in spots. We started out by dragging out the engines, blocks, heads and what "durable" parts looked like they could be saved. Next came out several charred tool boxes and melted plastic crates full of hand tools and items that are still unidentified. We also recovered the charred remains of a Sioux valve grinder, an Aamco brake lathe and it's stand, several engine stands, and an almost new, but thoroughly roasted English wheel.
    We then managed to remove about a dozen large totes full of small miscellaneous tools, parts, and some sheet metal parts. Guys were filling buckets inside the shop and then dumping them into the totes that were spread out on my trailer. His compressor and an old Sun distributor machine were removed but deemed beyond help. A large portion of the building's exterior sheet metal was also removed and saved before taking a chainsaw to the remaining uprights and pulling down the rest of the building for safety reasons.
    His homeowners insurance ponied up enough to build a new shop but would not cover the cars since it was a case of arson. The 3 brothers who set the fire were caught, but as juveniles, (9, 11, & 13), all they received was a slap on the wrist. My buddy poked through what we managed to recover and got what he really wanted to keep. The rest he told me to "Just take it and do whatever with it. He didn't want to ever see it again..." Well, it all landed in my shop and I have been going through it bit by bit and salvaging what I can.

    My buddy's new 40 x 80 shop is now up at a new, more secure location, and is now being wired and plumbed.


    Here are a couple of shots of the first large piece of of equipment that has now received its makeover. This is the stand for the Aamco brake lathe. It was oily, charred, and rusted. I took it apart, stripped and repainted each piece, and reassembled it with new hardware. I don't know at this point if the brake lathe can be saved, so I will probably put one of my two brake lathes on it and rehab all the tooling that was recovered from his.


  2. Ted

    Ted Veteran Member

    You guys did a good thing, your lathe stand turned out nice as well Britt. Those fires in a metal building are hard on the contents.

Share This Page