BRYANT, S.D. (KELO) — A longtime family business in Bryant is now a charred shell.
Firefighters from several communities rushed to WW Tire early this morning after a spark in the mechanics shop triggered a fast-moving fire.
“Great call to get at six something in the morning, right that your business is on fire. So that was a surprise. I got down here and there was flames coming out from the building, and I was like ‘great’,” says owner at WW Tire Shaine Weelborg.
“There was three of our semis that actually started the fire we think, they actually ended up blowing up. Obviously, it’s a mechanic shop, there’s oil, there’s grease, there’s a lot of chemical things, diesel additive fluid that actually started you know, that’s what made it burn hot,” says Devan.
Despite all this damage, the Weelborgs say the situation could have been a lot worse if the firewalls didn’t do their job.
“We heard some explosions. The trucks actually blew up. So everything started to blaze and then safety protocol for the doors, they actually open. We just thank the Lord above that are our firewalls held and the fire didn’t spread into our cap shop or the warehouse where we store all our tires,” says Operations Manager Devan Weelborg.
The fire destroyed an office, the mechanical shop, and three semis.
“We could have lost everything. The whole building. Could have took out essentially half of the town,” says Devan.
The owners are grateful for the surrounding communities that sent their firetrucks to help contain the fire.
“Castlewood was there, Hazel was here. Lake Norden was quick to arrive. And there was also more surrounding towns, Willow Lake, Badger,” says Devan.
“Things can be replaced, we didn’t lose any people, everybody was okay. We lost some trucks, we lost some information that’s invaluable that we’ll have to recreate, but all in all, I just thank God that that’s all it was and we’ll move forward from here and we’ll come back hopefully stronger than ever,” says Shaine.
The family is hoping to put a makeshift wholesale office together, and hopefully have those operations back up and running as soon as possible.