As many in the industry know – running a business isn’t easy, but it gets even more complicated when an unexpected fire puts all of your work on hold. This has been the unfortunate reality for one auto glass family as a recent fire destroyed a truck with thousands of dollars’ worth in tools becoming a complete loss.
The fire started on January 25th around 10:30 pm at a home based mobile auto glass business in Brandon Fla. Fortunately no one was hurt and no buildings were impacted by the flames that engulfed the vehicle. Emily Gurr, the business owner’s wife, described her experience before and when the fire started.
“ … I was merging on the ramp on 275 when the truck cut off, I was trying to figure out the issue and couldn’t figure it out. I was then sitting in the tailgate waiting for a tow truck and noticed smoke and saw the inside covered in flames. The fire extinguisher was under seat in the truck while it was on fire,” said Gurr.
After seeing how quickly the fire spread, she realized the truck would be a total loss and it was best to move away from the scene.
“[My initial reaction was to] try to save what I could but it was too severe,” said Gurr.
Her husband has been in business for the past 7 years and moved to the Sunshine state for “military reasons” just a few months prior to the incident.
The damages aside from the truck, included auto glass replacement tools, some of which can’t be replaced, according to Gurr.
“All of our tools for auto glass replacements were gone in the fire and came to roughly $7,000. Many of them aren’t made anymore and are irreplaceable,” added Gurr.
When they reached out to their insurance provider they were met with surprising news.
“When we moved here we had to get the auto insurance policy changed from Georgia [to Florida], we had full coverage [in Georgia], but there was a misunderstanding when transferring to Florida so the vehicle is only covered liability,” said Gurr.
“It’s just hard to accept all of this. We’ve always had the ability to provide for our family no matter what and now I just feel lost. We have 4 kids that depend on us and we’re still adjusting to the move and for this to happen makes it seem impossible to bounce back,” added Gurr.
The family is still trying to rebuild.
“My husband has been very busy trying to get things together. He definitely would like to raise awareness especially with checking your insurance policy, we should have read through it and might not be in the situation we are in now,” said Gurr.
Auto Glass Industry Steps in to Help
Fortunately the auto glass community stepped up to help this family continue working.
The Facebook group #AGTT, also known as Autoglass Tech Talk, came together and the business owner tools and necessary equipment to get back to work the Monday following the fire. According to several group members, many of them also made financial donations in order for the auto glass business owner to rent a vehicle to work and keep his business afloat. #AGTT has been known to reach out and help those in the industry who are in need.
“This is an amazing group of companies, technicians, suppliers, and most of all human beings, that I believe deserves recognition for what they can come together and pull off no matter the competition or dislike for one another, under the leadership of the group #AGTT can come together and change lives,” said an #AGTT member who donated and did not want to be named.