Fire Rips Through Bob's Honda And Cycle Shop

By Kiersten Mathieu

July 22, 2010 Updated Apr 23, 2007 at 11:36 PM EDT

"I couldn't believe this. This is the worst nightmare that could ever happen," says Sales Manager Ed Ropp

Ropp watches as Bob's Honda and Cycle Shop succumbs to a smoky fire.

Bystanders can't turn away as the fire devastates the well-known business.

"It's a lot worse than what you think," says Susan Hawley.

"I've never seen anything this big. This is just out of control," says Shanna Bellas.

The fire started at 4:30 in the morning.

Hoses stretched across North Elmira Street as nearly 20 fire companies worked to put out flames and heavy smoke.

Portable ponds were set up to hold extra water from the river.

Small explosions forced crews to tear the two story building apart with an excavator.

"There was a lot of fuel in there. There's a lot of tires in there. We can't put guys in there. It's unsafe," says Asst. Chief Bill Kneebone of Athens Township Fire Dept.

Nearly 100 bikes and all terrain vehicles were lost in the fire.

In one large pile, the bikes are charred, twisted and melted.

About 20 bikes and ATV's were saved.

Only one car was lost.

"It's really hard to believe because of what just happened six months ago," says Dan Simpson of Sayre.

Bob's Honda and Cycle Shop had to rebuild a warehouse after a fire last November.

"They're a great family and they've had so much bad luck," says Jodi Austin of Waverly.

"Going up in smoke. It's just heartbreaking," says Ann Dunningin.

Bob's Honda and Cycle Shop plans to rebuild, but first it will have have to travel the long road to recovery.

No one was injured.

Preliminary damage estimates total more than a million dollars.

Crews on the scene believe the fire started in the back of the building.

They say it could take weeks to find the cause.

The warehouse fire in November was ruled accidental.

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