RIDGWAY – Volunteer firefighters quickly responded to a blaze at God’s Rods automotive repair shop in downtown Ridgway on Friday evening, July 26, dousing the fire before it could inflict any structural damage.
Community members spent much of the weekend helping to clean up the sooty mess left behind by the blaze.
“We are feeling very blessed,” said Gods Rods co-proprietor Jenn Maez on Monday morning, July 29. “It’s absolutely amazing; I have never felt so much love. We have been feeling so appreciated by community; people have donated food, time, paint, supplies. They have been willing to be covered in soot; we all looked like coal miners the other day.”
According to Maez, the blaze was sparked when a welding machine in the garage (located at 101 Campbell Lane near the Ridgway branch of Alpine Bank) shorted out and caught on fire. A neighbor reported the fire after hearing several loud explosions which turned out to be the tires on the welding cart exploding.
Maez and her husband Mirek, a master mechanic who specializes in the restoration and repair of classic cars, trucks and hot-rods, marveled at the “extremely rapid response” of the Ridgway Volunteer Fire Department that saved their business from going up in flames. “We appreciate that they were there so quickly, and we thank them all,” she said. “We live in a wonderful place, with wonderful people.”
While firefighters quickly squelched the flames, the shop did sustain a considerable amount of smoke damage in the ordeal. “Everything was fine but covered in black soot,” Maez explained.
But thanks to the outpouring of support from community members who showed up to assist with clean-up efforts, the Maez’s expect to re-open God’s Rods within a couple of days.
An emergency fund benefiting the Maez’s has been set up at Alpine Bank in Ridgway.
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