Electrical fire destroys decades-old auto shop in Northern Virginia – NBC4 Washington
A family business in Woodbridge, Virginia was destroyed in a fire, and now the community is trying to help them rebuild.
Penny’s Used Auto Parts has operated on Minnieville Road for nearly 70 years. Richard “Penny” Archie took over his father’s shop in the mid-1970s.
The office and some storage rooms in the auto shop caught fire on September 29.
“A few of my kids have come out, you know, and seeing them cry…” Archie said. “…it really hurts.”
Firefighters ruled it to be an electrical fire.
“Then you see him in there, burned to the ground. It’s heartbreaking,” he said.
Archie thinks there’s at least $150,000 in damage.
But Archie doesn’t count the dollars to measure the loss. He counts the memories.
Archie showed News4 one of the cars he built for his daughter, Shannon Archie, from what was lying around.
“He and my uncle gave all the kids and grandkids their first cars. My first car was a Mustang,” Shannon Archie said.
Many of these old cars were burned down along with countless photos that once decorated a wall that is no longer standing.
The family says no insurance company would cover the cost of a scrap yard where customers can choose their own parts.
“We’ve been to over 20 different insurance companies and every time it’s just a simple ‘No. No, no, no.’ It’s not a high bounty or we’ll give you a low bounty. It’s just ‘no,'” Shannon Archie said.
Now the community is participating and donating to an online fundraiser to help Archie rebuild.
Some of his loss cannot be replaced, but he hopes to repair what he can for another generation of memories in the family business.