Newport News business catches fire, burns down

Posted at 10:18 PM, Aug 18, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-19 14:53:18-04

A local man’s hard work goes up in smoke, after the building that houses his business catches fire. That fire started around five Saturday evening at 39th Street and Roanoake Avenue in Newport News.

A passer by took action and called in the fire.

“It’s hard to see it all go up.” Said business owner, Richard Tabb.

“I don’t know if we’ll recover from it or not, the building has insurance on it.  but my stuff is a loss.”

This building was where Richard Tabb ran his auto repair business for 30 years.
His three decades of hard work.

“Me and my sons always put in. I trained them up here, and taught them how to work and gave them their start up here.”

All gone in a matter of minutes.

Fire officials got a 911 call from someone driving by the building around five Saturday evening.

The smoke caught that person’s attention, and it was enough that they took action when they realized the building was on fire.

Within four minutes, fire fighters were on scene dousing the flames with water.
As the assault on the destructive flames was going on, one fire fighter fell in to some auto repair equipment.

“He had some minor injuries, he was treated at the scene, but he’s going to be alright from what we know.” Said Stephen Pincus, Newport News Fire Department Batallion Chief.
Once the fire was out, all business owner Richard Tabb could do, was look at what this fire did.

Walls burned completely, windows busted out, and stains of soot on the outside.
Investigators think it was a faulty extension cord that caused the mess.

Richard  thinks the fire started in a wall, and that’s where investigators are looking right now but, he’s thrilled that the fire didn’t get to two vehicles that were covered up, the antique vehicles that he says he and his son are spending time restoring together.”

“We’re blessed, the good lord has saved that much for us through the rest of the way.”
So, as he figures out what can be salvaged and what can’t, Tabb is just trying to keep himself calm, and think positive.

“It’s just one of those things, but we will survive.”