It was around 4:15 p.m. on June 6 when a static ignition caused a fire at Professional Auto Towing. Located at 711 Kessler Mill Road, the blaze happened when employees were draining gasoline from a vehicle on a lift. Both individuals were immediately taken to Roanoke Memorial Hospital and were released the next day after tests revealed no serious injuries.
Several pieces of equipment, including personal tools owned by employees, were lost in the fire. Salem Fire Chief John Prillaman said firefighters were able to save some, but not all, of the personal items. According to the fire marshal’s office, an estimated $700,000 in damages was caused.
Growing up, Philip Christian spent a lot of time at Professional Auto Towing with his dad, Butch, and grandfather, Dennis. “This is a family business, so I’ve been affiliated from as long as I can remember. We pretty much do everything here. From oil changes to car inspections, you name it. Essentially everything in the shop was damaged on that day. A few cars were even burned because of the fire,” he said.