STAUNTON, ILL. - Just days after a massive fire, the owners of Country Classic Cars are ready to reopen.
Tuesday night, a fire ripped through the main building, which housed the office and gift shop. The fire also destroyed 142 classic cars.
“We were bawling in our car, when we first came,” said Anita Noel, who owns the business with her husband Russell.
The Noels said a security guard who lives on property alerted them of the fire. The couple credits fire fighters who were able to save more than 400 other cars and other buildings.
“We only lost one building,” Anita said. “Those buildings could have been like dominos, but they were not, and that's all due to their efforts.”
The Noels have also experienced an outpouring of support in their community and from all over the country. Friends and strangers have offered machinery to clean up the mess, and a trailer to house a temporary office.
“It just brings tears to our eyes, what everyone's offered to help and done for us,” Russell said.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but the Noels believe it started in the middle of the main building.
The couple has insurance, and they are hopeful they’ll recover most of their losses. In the meantime, they’ll continue to drive forward.
“We'll climb the hill, if we have to climb a hill,” Anita said.
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