FORT McMURRAY, Alta. — The fire that ravaged the gateway city to Alberta’s oilsands a year ago claimed none of the four automobile dealerships there, although all suffered smoke and ash damage, and some lost employees who moved on after their homes burned.
Northstar Ford Lincoln, Summit GM, Noral Toyota and Legacy Dodge were all spared by the fire dubbed The Beast, which threatened to consume the entire city. However, all faced daunting cleanups and employee vacancies once the flames were doused.
Only Northstar dealer principal Marty Giles would give a figure on the cleanup cost for his $35.6-million operation that had opened in February 2015.
“No buildings were lost, but cleanup ran to about $500,000 because all locations had to be completely cleaned,” says Giles, who lost his home and a Shelby Mustang in the fire.
Some equipment at the service site about six kilometres from the main dealership was also burned.
The cleanup effort was the same at the other dealerships: dealing with smoke and hot ash that burned into the paint of vehicles.