'It's not easy to deal with'

Everton McLean
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Fire aftermath Owner of excavating business hit by fire says it could have been worse

Bill Farrell of Farrell's Excavating says if it weren't for the quick action of his two brothers Sunday morning, he would have lost his whole business to fire.

As it stands, Farrell expects he's taken a big hit, but his business should be able to recover.

Fire broke out at Farrell's garage in Kelligrews late Saturday and by early Sunday morning, the building was engulfed in flames.

Workers search through the rubble that used to be Farrells Excavating in Kelligrews Tuesday. The business was destroyed by a spectacular fire overnight Sunday. Photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram

Bill Farrell of Farrell's Excavating says if it weren't for the quick action of his two brothers Sunday morning, he would have lost his whole business to fire.

As it stands, Farrell expects he's taken a big hit, but his business should be able to recover.

Fire broke out at Farrell's garage in Kelligrews late Saturday and by early Sunday morning, the building was engulfed in flames.

Farrell was out of town, but his brothers sprung into action when they found out a fire was encroaching on the heavy equipment, moving tractor trailers and tandem trucks away before they could be engulfed in flames.

"Only for they got that stuff out of there, I'd say I'd be out of business," said Farrell, who built the business from a one-truck operation to a multimillion-dollar company.

Still, he said, the loss of other equipment and the facility will likely cost him between $500,000 and $1 million.

"It's not easy to deal with. I didn't have a big lot of insurance. I lost two pickups, two forklifts, a dump truck, a new engine. I only had $50,000 on tools and equipment, no inventory insurance," he said.

"There was 12,000 litres of fuel outside that garage and that's considered inventory."

Farrell said the loss of the garage also means some people are out of work.

"I had five mechanics plus a welder employed there, so it was no Mickey Mouse shop," he said.

He said he was lucky that about 90 per cent of his equipment was out on jobs, "but it's going to have a major impact on my business."

"When I got up Monday morning, I never had a flat top screwdriver, not a pair of coveralls. There was nothing left," he said.

Farrell said that in addition to lost assets, he's losing time working on contracts.

"This is taking up a lot of my time to deal with this when I should be out on the job," he said.

"I've got 22 kilometres of the Trans Canada (to pave) and I don't have one pound of asphalt laid on it."

Police are investigating the fire.

emclean@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Trans Canada

Geographic location: Kelligrews

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Recent comments

  • BEEBOP
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    Even if there WAS insurance, i'm sure the insurance company would have found some loop hole or fine print that they would use to distance themselves from this.

  • b
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    He was fortunate not to loose more than he did, although any loss is still a difficult pill to swallow.

    Perhaps it is time he had a look at his insurance coverage and see if he can protect a little more of his equipment and property.

  • jason
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    Insurance seems expensive until something like this happens. We hope it never happens but if it happens you want to be insured. Also a good fire suppression system should be in place in any garage facility. The CBS fire hall is only a stones throw from this fire wonder what the response time was?

  • Dave
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    As accountant, my only hope is that he had a backup of his accounting records, or the office was somewhere else.

    If not, then he will find it next to impossible to rebuild those records....and if he can't, then the buisness will close.

  • Barney
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    No Insurance?????

  • BEEBOP
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    Even if there WAS insurance, i'm sure the insurance company would have found some loop hole or fine print that they would use to distance themselves from this.

  • b
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    He was fortunate not to loose more than he did, although any loss is still a difficult pill to swallow.

    Perhaps it is time he had a look at his insurance coverage and see if he can protect a little more of his equipment and property.

  • jason
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    Insurance seems expensive until something like this happens. We hope it never happens but if it happens you want to be insured. Also a good fire suppression system should be in place in any garage facility. The CBS fire hall is only a stones throw from this fire wonder what the response time was?

  • Dave
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    As accountant, my only hope is that he had a backup of his accounting records, or the office was somewhere else.

    If not, then he will find it next to impossible to rebuild those records....and if he can't, then the buisness will close.

  • Barney
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    No Insurance?????