Loveall’s RVs will reopen for business on Friday (Jan. 21).
The Columbia, Mo., RV dealership was heavily damaged by fire early Tuesday (Jan. 18). But owner David Duffy told the Columbia Daily Tribune he will reopen on Friday.
“First of all, we would like to have some nice weather. It’s really difficult to sell in this weather,” Duffy said.
The RV retailer will operate out of a rental building already on the property and other offices that survived the blaze, Duffy said. Sometime next week, trailers will be placed on the property until a new facility can be constructed.
Local companies also have volunteered service bays and tools for Loveall service employees to use. Only two campers that were too close to the structure were damaged, and “yes, we do plan to have a fire sale,” Duffy said.
Duffy said his insurance policy requires him to rebuild the facility.
“Once I was over the immediate shock, I was already planning for the future,” he said. “We have good insurance and are looking forward to coming back in a clean, new building.”
Investigators were not able to determine a point of origin or a cause for the fire that destroyed a maintenance building.
The investigation by the Boone County Fire Protection District, the State Fire Marshal and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, is complete. The blaze caused an estimated $1.6 million to $2 million in damages, said Division Chief Gale Blomenkamp of the fire district.
Blomenkamp said an exact point of origin or cause could not be determined because the intense fire destroyed the maintenance area.
Investigators had to wait for construction crews to clear the fallen roof of the facility and stabilize the building before they could enter. While waiting to enter the facility, investigators interviewed mechanics to learn what was in the building and where it was located. No suspicious activity has been reported.
The fire was reported to authorities by a motorist around 1:40 a.m.
An overnight fire at Loveall’s RVs near Columbia, Mo., caused millions of dollars in damage, but owner David Duffy said he remains open for business, KRCG-TV, New Bloomfield, Mo., reported.
The fire destroyed several motorhomes and the service area of the RV dealership, located five miles east of Columbia on Interstate 70.
A motorist on Interstate 70 saw smoke and called 911 a little after 1:30 a.m. Tuesday (Jan. 18).
Firefighters were able to save the company’s office area and company records.
State Fire Marshal’s Office investigators are trying to figure out exactly where and why the fire started in the maintenance area.
Because of the magnitude of the fire and it being at a commercial building, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms is assisting in the investigation.
At this hour, investigators do not suspect any foul play.
Boone County Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Gale Blomenkamp said, “It’s going to be an all-day event today. There’ll be several days of investigating. There is a lot of stuff in that building to go through. In reality, there could be a point where we don’t actually find the exact cause of the fire, but narrowing it down to a point of origin would be ideal at this point.”
Duffy said he has excellent insurance and plans to rebuild his maintenance area as soon as possible.
An overnight blaze at Loveall RVs in Centralia, Mo., on eastbound Interstate 70, kept firefighters busy this morning (Jan. 18). A total of nine engines and 40 firefighters worked to bring the fire under control, KOMU-TV, Columbia, Mo., reported.
The Boone County Fire Protection District reported it arrived on the scene around 1:40 a.m. after a motorist reported smoke across I-70. Upon arrival, firefighters found the eastern half of the building on fire. The roof had collapsed and firefighters had to work from outside to building to avoid the dangers of the collapsing structure.
Firefighters said they were able to stop the fire in the maintenance area of the building, saving the office area and company records. Much of the building is destroyed. The fire department estimates the total damage is in the millions.
Firefighters are working with the State Fire Marshal to determine the exact location of the source of the fire, as well as the cause. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive is also on the way to investigate the scene.