Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Built Ford Tough

What do you do when your husband's work {literally} burns to the ground?
Well let me tell you: 

First you freak out. I mean you really, really freak out. 
Second, you try to remain calm since the kids are watching your every move.
Third, you take a deep breath and tell yourself that everything will work out.
Because it will...just breath.

At 6:30am on Saturday, April 25th, we found out that Howard's work place of the past 15 years, Ford of Bellevue, had been completely burned to the ground. 
Not exactly the most ideal way to wake up and start your weekend.

The news report said it started around 3am that morning, and that the building was completely engulfed in flames by the time the firefighters got on the scene. 
And it was:

Howard immediately got dressed and drove to Bellevue. 
At that time no one knew what to expect. 
Maybe the shop had held up? 
Maybe his tools were okay? 
This was not the case. 

He got there around 7am, and sent me this picture:

As it turns out, the entire building is gone. 
Barely anything survived the blaze. 
Customer cars: gone. Vehicles for sale: gone. Toolboxes: gone. 
Except for a few cars set further away from the building, everything: gone. 
The only good thing about this, is that not one person was injured. Thank God for that!

Ever since Saturday morning, he has been down there helping every day.
He volunteered, and was selected, to be the person in charge of taking care of all of the tools for the shop. That includes all 22 technicians, and all of the shop tools and equipment.
He has been OK'd to handle the inventory of everything the shop and technicians need. 

He has not stopped. 
He is constantly attending meetings, taking phone calls and answering hundreds of text messages. 
He is, essentially, helping to rebuild this company.
I cannot begin to explain to you how tedious this task is, and will be.

The company assures everyone that all 96 employees will be taken care of, and made whole again. 
That includes compensation and the replacement of tools and equipment. 
What exactly that entails, we are not 100% yet.
{We are hoping for more solid answers by the end of the week}.

Speaking of tools, this is the current state of Howard's personal toolbox and equipment:

The ceiling beam fell directly on top of it...Keep in mind that it used to be bright yellow in color...

Needless to say, it is not recognizable, and not salvageable. 
The stall that he has worked in, for as long as I can remember, is the third door from the left in this photo:

The 15 years he has worked there, we have been together. 
I have, for all intents and purposes, been there as long as he has.
It is so surreal to think that this place is gone. Forever. 

They are planning on moving the company to a Mercedes shop in the interim. 
They have to get that location set up and running, so it is up in the air as to when that will take effect.
And as far as I know, the fire investigation is still underway, and nothing has been determined yet.
There is a brief update on their website HERE

This is something that you just don't think about.
It's something that you never think will ever really happen.
But it does, and it did. 

Howard and I can add this event to the long list of things that we have overcome together. 
Sometimes it takes a tragedy to remind you of what you really have.
And for those things, I am incredibly grateful!

R.I.P. Ford of Bellevue...your slogan takes on a whole new meaning to me know!

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