Investigators look into family owned business destroyed by fire in Oldsmar

Owner worked for decades to build company
Posted at 6:12 PM, Mar 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-14 18:12:29-04

Raymond Christy has not put down his phone since last night. The owner of AWS Carpenter Contractors is trying to make sure his 45 plus employees will be taken care of while he tries to rebuild.

A massive fire ripped through his 13,000 square foot hardwood manufacturing warehouse on Tuesday night.

It took more than 70 firefighters to get a handle on it but not before the roof collapsed

Christy who is to upset to speak, said it also destroyed expensive equipment needed to run his business.

Trent Brendel works just steps away at Lindross Remodeling.

"It is really surreal to know how close it is and how many firefighters were out here it's pretty unbelievable. We can still smell it and when it happens to your next door neighbor it is really upsetting," said Brendel.

And unsettling. A burglar alarm went off inside AWS prompting deputies and fire crews to arrive at the same time Tuesday. Now they are back, working together to try and and piece together what happened.

"They are looking at all different angles," said Lt. Thomas Brennan.

Lt. Thomas Brennan said they are looking at everything from arson to bad weather possibly triggering the alarm.

He added it could take investigators days.

"They are now just getting inside the building," said Lt. Brennan.

Lt. Brennan has been fighting fires for 30 years and said this was a big fire.

And while crews got it contained and protected other businesses like Lindross Remodeling. Lt. Brenna said he feels for Christy and his employees, many of them working for the small business owner for decades.

"We know this gentleman and he puts his heart and his whole family into this business. It is sad to see someone lose something like this. And I know they have resolve and will come back better after this fire," said Lt. Brennan.

Christy said that is the long term goal. For now his focus is on taking care of his crew.



Download our free app for Apple and Android and Kindle devices.

Sign up for Breaking News email alerts

WATCH | Latest ABC Action News Videos  | WATCH | ABC Action News Live Stream

Follow us on Twitter

Follow @abcactionnews

Like us on Facebook