MISSOURI VALLEY — Last November, a fire destroyed an area mechanic’s shop.
Now, Tom Springhower, owner of Springhower Repair located on Ottawa Lane about seven miles north and east of Missouri Valley, has been open again at his new shop for about four months.
He is happy to be have bounced back and be working full time again.
“I am just as busy or busier than I was before the fire,” said Springhower.
Tom has been a mechanic for more than 30 years and has been at his current location since July of 2008.
Early last November, on what seemed like a normal day, Tom left his shop to run some errands. Roughly 20 minutes later, his world got turned upside down.
He received a phone call from his mother-in-law who was working in the garden near the Springhower home, located on the same property as Springhower Repair, saying the shop is on fire.
Springhower raced back to the place. Despite the efforts by three local fire departments, the building was totally destroyed by the blaze.
They did not really ever determine the exact cause of the fire, Springhower said.
When something like this happens, he said he went through a whole range of emotions starting from the time he got that phone call.
First, it was shock, then he said he kind of was able to joke about it as the days and a few weeks pass.
But then it really hit him about a month later what exactly had happened that morning in November.
“It takes that long for it to sink in,” he commented.
Many small towns are known for their neighborly gestures. And the towns in this area are no different.
Several individuals came to Tom just days after the fire and offered to allow him to set up and work out of one of their buildings.
Though he appreciated the gesture, Tom decided it was best to concentrate on the task at hand.
He knew that from start to finish, a rebuild would take a great deal of time and effort and decided to focus on this.
By June of this year, he had reopened his new shop, which was basically in the same location as the old one.
However, there were a few differences regarding the structure of the building. One of those was that fact that the new building is larger than his previous one.
“The old building was 36 by 50 and this new building is 50 by 50,” Tom said, adding how liked having the additional space.
The shop doors are larger and the roof is taller, too, which allows him to have more room to hoist up taller vehicles up onto the lift.
And Springhower is glad that he hardly missed a beat since early last November.
He is also thankful for the customers who stayed loyal to him despite his business being out of commission for that approximately seven-month period of time.
Bouncin’ back may have been a process, but Springhower appreciates the fact that he can continue working at his shop and in the profession he has been in for more than three decades.