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Year in Review: Dyke's Auto Salvage in midst of rising from the ashes

WORTHINGTON -- Five and a half months after fire ravaged through Dyke's Auto Salvage on the south side of Worthington, rebuilding the business is a work in progress.

WORTHINGTON - Five and a half months after fire ravaged through Dyke’s Auto Salvage on the south side of Worthington, rebuilding the business is a work in progress.

Fire broke out at the business on the morning of Friday, July 15. It started in the front shop and eventually spread to three surrounding buildings, including the office and two storage buildings.

Smoke could be seen for miles as firefighters from five departments - Worthington, Bigelow, Rushmore, Round Lake and Lismore - worked to put out the blaze. The presence of flammable materials added to the severity of the fire and the challenge in knocking it down.

Fire departments delivered much-needed manpower, as well as tankers to haul water to the site. Without fire hydrants in the vicinity, tankers filled up with water at two stations located at the Worthington Fire Hall.

Employees of Dyke’s said they were removing a gas tank from a car when some fuel spilled from the gas line. That fuel ignited when a nearby water heater kicked in, sparking the massive fire.

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Today, construction is nearly complete on a 24- by 30-foot office building. Dyke’s co-manager Maralee Onken said the new office is anticipated to be move-in ready yet this week or early in January. Plans are in the works to construct new storage buildings in summer 2017.

“We’re in a mobile construction trailer right now,” Onken said prior to Christmas. “We’re really looking forward to getting everything moved over and easily accessible.”

The trailer was brought in just weeks after the fire to provide office space for employees, and the one building that still stood following the fire is now used to store the parts undamaged by fire or brought in during recent months.

“With the time constraints, we concentrated on getting an office built,” Onken said. “We’re still here and operating and haven’t gone away. Pretty soon we’ll have our name on the building again.

“We’re slowly working toward replacing everything - it just takes time,” she added. “We have to pick and choose what we buy because we are limited on our storage. We are slowly replacing everything. If we don’t have what customers need, we are glad to move it in for them.”

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Related Topics: FIRES
Julie Buntjer became editor of The Globe in July 2021, after working as a beat reporter at the Worthington newspaper since December 2003. She has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism from South Dakota State University.
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