A serious fire at Premier RV Services in Junction City, Ore., the morning of Nov. 6 that caused an estimated $8 million in damage was contained by multiple fire departments on the scene that day to a single 65,000 square-foot storage facility – a fact about which former co-founders Louie Courtemanche and Gary Obermire, both former Country Coach Inc. managers, are quite grateful today.
“The positive thing, if there is any, is that this was limited to our storage facility,” Courtemanche told RVBUSINESS.com. “Our service facility and showroom and other structures were not involved in the fire. So, all of our employees are still at work and we are taking care of our customers.”
“The one thing I would like to do is to publicly thank all our fire departments that came out and did what they did to make sure we didn’t lose the entire business,” added Obermire. “I think there were six fire companies that came to help us. They worked their tails off to keep this thing under control so that it only burned the one building. We thank them so much.”
The fire caused an estimated $2 million in damage to the building and $6 million to its contents according to Junction City Fire and Rescue. Damage to some of the more than 40 luxury motorhomes inside the facility was reported. According to fire officials, the blaze started with one motorhome inside the building and then quickly spread to others.
Courtemanche said he is now dealing with multiple insurance agencies on behalf of his owners who lost or have damaged coaches. He stated the storage facility was within 10 coaches of capacity. “But we will rebuild it and make it better than before. We’ve been here for eight years and plan on rebuilding.”
Obermire said less than 10 RVs were completely destroyed. “Normal business is running in sales and service,” he reported. “But there are 10 motorhomes left in the burnt storage building that you can’t drive out. Those are obviously totaled. There may be a handful of others that have enough damage to total. We are going through the rest now with the insurance process and cleaning the outside and insides of the coaches up with a company that does smoke damage abatement.”
Courtemanche and Obermire were employed with Country Coach for 15 and 22 years, respectively, before opening Premier RV eight years ago during the economic downturn when Country Coach folded. Today, according to Courtemanche, Premier RV is a legacy supplier for pre-owned Country Coach, Monaco and Beaver motorhome sales, service, parts, paint, bodywork and storage.
“We do a lot of refurbishing of these luxury motorhomes as well,” said Courtemanche. “New TVs, carpet, cabinets, countertops — we still have some of the best craftsmen that ever came out of Country Coach as our employees.”