Early morning fire destroys family business - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Early morning fire destroys family business

by Bryan Goettel

IOWA CITY (KWWL) - The call came in just before 3:00 Monday morning. That's when more than fifty firefighters from all across Johnson County found Yansky Auto Repair engulfed in flames. After three hours, the fire was out, but now a family is left to start over.

"Yeah, I lost my tow truck," said owner Doug Yansky. "That's what he's pulling out right now. Burnt to nothing."

Yansky built his auto repair shop 25 years ago. Early Monday morning, he watched it burn to the ground.

"I got here immediately after the sheriff called me around three and it was pretty much engulfed in flames," said Yansky. "I live about two miles from here and I could see the glow from there so I knew there wasn't going to be much hope."

"There was an apartment up above and he had smelled smoke and called the fire department and got out on his own," said Tiffin fire chief Brian Detert. "Nobody was hurt or injured."

While fire officials are still investigating, Yansky thinks he knows how it started.

"We think a stove caused it," said Yansky. "I had a wood stove in there and that might have caused it. I checked on it last night and it was fine so I don't know what happened."

Just a few hours later, the store's sign is virtually all that's left. Yansky worked at the shop with his wife and children. Monday morning, they huddled together, wondering what they'll do next.

"This is going to set us back definitely, but we just have to deal with it and go on," said Yansky.

Yansky says he owns a couple of smaller buildings nearby and will probably use one of those as a temporary location. He says neighbors have already offered to help in any way they can.

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