Fire fails to shutter auto business


TOWN OF STEUBEN — One day after a fire destroyed one of their workshops and administrative offices, Tolpa’s Auto Parts was back in business.

“We’re up, we’re running, we’re open,” said owner Bill Tolpa about the French Road shop.

“We’re rolling and we’re not going to miss a beat.”

Fire officials said an errant splash of sparks ignited a flammable gas while employees were cutting into a scrap car on Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 6.

The employees grabbed fire extinguishers and attempted to douse the flames, but they were unsuccessful.

Officials said the employees were able to save one of their own who had become trapped behind the flames. No one was injured. Bill Tolpa said the complex that was destroyed by fire contained the administrative offices and the vehicle dismantling workshop.

He said several other buildings at the Tolpa’s complex remain in tact, and the business was back open the following day.

“We went shopping and got tools replaced, all their tool boxes, at my expense,” Tolpa stated. “Nobody got hurt, that’s the important part. We’re still as strong as we were before.”

Tolpa said they have ordered replacement equipment to arrive within the week, and have reached out to all of their

He said dismantling operations have been moved to another part of the property, and there are plans to rebuild the lost workshops.

Tolpa said they remain open for normal business hours.


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