A longtime dry cleaning business in Columbia went up in flames Thursday night with the owner and a maintenance worker both managing to escape.
"My wife and I have owned it since 1997," said owner of Best Cleaners Chris Shrader. "It's home, so it's hard to look at."
Surveying the damage, Shrader proudly wears a cap reading, "Extreme Makeover Home Edition". For years, his restoration dry cleaning business worked with that show.
"We go into homes and restore their clothes that's been damaged from fire, and we're always there for them," said Shrader.
Now, a man who worked to help others in tragic situations faces a tragedy himself.
"I understand now," said Shrader. "The shoe's on the other foot. It's just tough."
Thursday night, Shrader and a maintenance man were working on a machine at the Pulaski Highway business when something went very wrong.
"The motor had shot some fire and caught a rag or something on fire nearby," Shrader remembered. "It was that fast. We grabbed a fire extinguisher from the front. We had several in the building, and I ran up there and grabbed more fire extinguishers and exhausted those and couldn't stop it."
Shrader was rushed to the hospital over concerns of inhaling smoke. The building is a total loss.
"We have some great employees there, about 12 or 13," said Shrader. "We all met this morning, all cried, and we had a long prayer about everything."
Shrader said just like all the families he's helped in the past, he knows he'll somehow come out of the situation stronger.
He added he's already contacted his insurance agent, and he's planning to rebuild in the same spot as quickly as possible.
Best Cleaners has five drop stores in the area. It was the main plant that burned. Shrader said the employees of that main plant are being moved to other stores.
They'll be opening the building next to their Pulaski Highway location for customers to take their clothes in and out.
Copyright 2012 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:14 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:14:20 GMT
A father is facing charges after police said he left his young kids in a hot car Monday in the Gulch area downtown. Police said the dad, Tranquilo Camaja-Lajon, went to orientation for a new job and broughtMore >>
A father is facing charges after police said he left his young kids in a hot car Monday in the Gulch area of downtown.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 8:28 PM EDT2013-05-21 00:28:00 GMT
The Tennessee Highway Patrol is investigating a high-speed chase that came to a deadly end over the weekend, and police say as far as they can tell it was all over a speeding ticket. Shelbyville officersMore >>
The Tennessee Highway Patrol is investigating a high-speed chase that came to a deadly end over the weekend, and police say as far as they can tell it was all over a speeding ticket.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 1:46 PM EDT2013-05-21 17:46:27 GMT
Residents in tornado-stricken Moore, OK, await news on missing love ones Tuesday, a day after a massive tornado devastated the city, killing at least 51. Rescuers worked all night, with particular attentionMore >>
The tornado, with winds up to 200 mph, cut a 20-mile stretch as wide as two miles through the Oklahoma City metro area. The medical examiner's office reported 24 people died, including nine children. More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 11:59 AM EDT2013-05-21 15:59:47 GMT
Power was knocked out to thousands of residents in Nashville overnight after a truck slammed into a pole on White Bridge Road. The crash happened at about 10:50 p.m. Monday near Corbett Lane. As of 6More >>
Power was knocked out to hundreds of residents in Nashville overnight after a truck slammed into a pole on White Bridge Road.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:36 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:36:49 GMT
(RNN) – A day after long track tornadoes devastated Shawnee and Edmond, OK, another round has begun near Oklahoma City.KOCO broadcast a slow rotating cloud that slowly extended down towards the groundMore >>
Dozens of people have died after a second day of tornadoes twisted through Oklahoma, this time taking aim at the town of Moore, south of Oklahoma City.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 9:33 AM EDT2013-05-21 13:33:47 GMT
There is a slight risk of severe thunderstorms for northwest Middle Tennessee Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. The biggest threat will be west of a line from Waynesboro to Springfield, TN. An upperMore >>