Auto shop is already making plans after Thursday fire

Saturday, December 22, 2012 | 4:24 p.m. CST; updated 7:01 p.m. CST, Saturday, December 22, 2012
A customer's vehicle sits Friday inside Sound Performance, a custom car audio shop, after an overnight fire. The total damage for the building and inventory is estimated at more than $300,000.

COLUMBIA — Sound Performance, a Columbia custom car auto shop, is already making plans for its future after a fire erupted at the shop late Thursday night. 

It won't be until Wednesday or Thursday that the cause of the fire is determined, Sound Performance owner Marcus Schumer said. The fire destroyed the building's roof, which collapsed, making navigating inside the building's remains and clearing debris difficult.

Initial estimates suggest the shop sustained more than $300,000 in damages, according to a news release Friday from the Columbia Fire Department.

Columbia firefighters responded to the fire shortly before 10:30 p.m. Thursday. Smoke was pouring from a garage door on the south side of the single-story building when crews arrived at the scene, and it took firefighters about an hour to bring the fire under control, the release said.

The business has been in Columbia for 12 years at the 1310 Indiana Ave. location. For now, the shop's owners are looking for a temporary building to take care of current customers as quickly as possible. The building's owner, Richard Erickson, has plans to rebuild, and Schumer said he wants Sound Performance to stay at its original location once completed.

"There's a few issues with setting up temporary places, but the main thing we're concerned about is making sure we aren't compromising service," Schumer said.

The holiday season is one of Sound Performance's busiest times of year, and seven vehicles were in the shop when the business caught fire, including Schumer’s personal vehicle, he said. The customers' cars that were destroyed in the fire will be covered by insurance.

Sound Performance has a strong base in Columbia. Almost immediately after the building caught fire, the owners received calls from businesses and friends offering assistance, Schumer said. Nearly 30 people posted on the company's Facebook page by Saturday, extending their sympathies and well wishes.

"So sorry to hear of your loss glad no one was hurt but looks like God was looking over you all. Merry Christmas, keep your heads up I'm sure many are willing to help," Desiree Robertson wrote.

"Everyone who's involved with us or has any future scheduled service, we will still be there for them. We want to make sure everything is taken care of," Schumer said.

Columbia Fire Capt. John Metz said Saturday that investigators are still looking into the cause of the fire and will meet with insurance representatives next week.

Supervising editor is Zach Murdock.

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