Hot, Smoky Fire Punctures Lee’s Tire & 4×4

A blackened exterior on the north side of Lee’s Tire resulted from an apparent trash fire that set stacks of old tires ablaze.

A Crothersville business is closed seeking an alternative location to re-open after a fire last Tuesday, March 6. Brent Lee, owner of Lee’s Tire & 4×4 on US 31 south of town, said he is anxious to find a Crothersville location to get his tire business re-opened.
The fire was reported just before 1 p.m. last Tuesday, according to Crothersville-Vernon Township fire Chief Charles Densford.
“We had burned some boxes earlier in the morning and thought everything was out,” said Lee. “The wind had picked up later that morning and must have blown some smoldering cardboard into the junk tires we had stacked outside.”
Lee said he received a UPS delivery and the driver notified him of the smoke.
“We emptied our fire extinguishers on it but they weren’t enough,” he said.
“It was a hot, smoky fire,” said Densford. “There were seven fire departments that showed up to help with manpower and water.” In addition to the local department, Jackson-Washington and all five fire departments from Scott County showed up to help.
Fire departments were on the scene until shortly after 5 p.m.
While the steel building did not burn, it was heat and smoke from the burning tires that caused damaged to the building.
Heat from the tire fire caused hydraulic hoses to burst and plastic to melt in the shop, Lee said.
Bige E. Doyle, owner of the property, said the building is probably going to be a total loss. “The heat warped steel support beams and caused the gaskets around the roof fasteners to melt,” he said, estimating the loss at $80,000 to the building.
Loss to the contents of Lee’s Tire is still being calculated. “There’s a customer’s truck still on the lift that is probably a total loss from smoke and heat. And all of our power and pneumatic tools are useless,” said Lee.
Lee, who has been in business here since October 2009, is scrambling looking for another local location to re-open the tire business.
“I’ve got insurance to cover the equipment and business interruption insurance for me. But I have a couple of employees who are now out of work. They are relying on me for a paycheck and I need to get back open for business,” said Lee.