Canton auto store fire could affect entire community

CANTON, Mo. (WFEM) – A Canton business owner tries to figure out what’s left after a fire ravaged his store this morning.

Canton RV Fire District Chief Joe LaCount said crews were called to Canton Tire and Automotive at 401 N. Fourth St. just before 1 a.m.

He said it took them until 3 a.m. to put out the blaze, which had spread to the repair shop and the storage part of the building.

LaCount said the damage was so extensive they may never know what triggered it. He also doesn’t know if the building is salvageable.

The fire blew out windows, destroyed the storage room and damaged parts of the roof.

Canton Mayor Jarrod Phillips said the loss of a business like Canton Tire and Automotive has a big impact on the community.

“This is one less place you can go to do work on your automobile,” Phillips said. “It’s less money coming in for the store owners, so they can spend and support their friends and neighbors in the community.”

Canton resident Joseph Howard and his family had been clients of Canton Tire and Automotive. Howard said it was difficult to start and maintain a small business in Canton, especially with the city’s small population and the high cost of goods.

“Like I said, insurance. If they don’t have insurance, they’re pretty fucked up. Because everything is ridiculously expensive right now. Absolutely everything, ”Howard said.

Phillips said he hopes the owner of the business has enough insurance to rebuild the store and come back stronger than before.

“It’s sad especially this time of year with the holidays, people, their livelihood depends on their small businesses and their employees,” Phillips said.

Canton Tire and auto owner Andrew Washburn said he was not sure what next steps to take in whether to rebuild.

He said that at the moment he was trying to figure out where to store his equipment in the store.

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