Saturday morning, March 11, Mario Rodriguez stood in front of the Tigard auto repair shop he has owned for the last eight years and watched his business, and his livelihood, go up in smoke. Even though fire crews from two departments arrived quickly and worked diligently to quash the two-alarm fire, the building was a complete loss, as were all of Mario’s tools. Now, Mario’s Auto Service, 9744 SW Tigard Street, is barely even a shell, filled with burned out cars, compressors, lifts and tools… and an acetylene welding tank which miraculously did not explode.
Tigard Police and Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue (TVF&R) responded to the 911 call, which came in a little after 8:30 AM, stated Kim Haughn, TVF&R Public Information Officer. When the fire was upgraded to two-alarm status, Portland Fire and Rescue dispatched an engine and personnel to assist TVF&R in fighting the blaze. Tigard Police handled traffic control on Tigard Street. The building was unoccupied when police and fire crews arrived.
“At this point we do not know the cause of the fire. We have our investigator on scene and they’re going to take a look and see if they can track down the origin, the possible cause that created the fire,” said Ms. Haughn. She said TVF&R would notify the press if a determination is made of the cause of the fire.
“At first I didn’t believe it when my friend called to tell me it was on fire,” said Mr. Rodriguez, “and I said, ‘are you serious?’ And he said ‘yes I’m serious. Your shop is on fire.’ I got here about 8:45, and I saw the police, and the fire department, and everything.”
“I want to keep going, and reopen the business,” stated Mr. Rodriguez. “I don’t want to stay down, you know? I have to stay up and keep going. I need to find a new location, and I’d like to stay around Tigard. My customers, the people who know me, are here in Tigard. I need to buy a lot of tools get back in business.”
Mr. Rodriguez did not have insurance. He said he canceled it to pay utilities and other bills. Asked what he needs to reopen, besides finding a new location Mr. Rodriguez stated “Hand tools, air tools, a big air compressor, floor jack, pretty much everything. All the basic tools.”
If our readers have tools and equipment they can share with Mr. Rodriguez, or would like to hold a fundraiser, Mr. Rodriguez can be reached at 503-840-9310.