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Thirty Years of History Destroyed by Flames

An early morning fire in one part of Luzerne County destroyed an auto body repair shop that was in business for more than 30 years.

The fire started around 5 a.m. Sunday at Campas Collision Center in Plymouth. Newswatch 16 was there as the owner of the business watched years of history go up in flames.

The fire call came in shortly after 5 a.m., and although crews responded quickly, the business burned to the ground.

“I’ve never had such an empty feeling in my whole life,” said Owner John Campas.

Campas was in shock over the loss of this place, a shop that he said he’s spent much of his life trying to build.

“Empty, don’t know what to do. I have to rebuild it and I just don’t know where to start,” said Campas.

Not only was the garage a total loss, but also all of the cars inside, about five in all, including a new hummer and a Ford Mustang with only a few hundred miles on it.

Fire crews said they did all they could to contain the flames, but the fire was just too far along.

Plymouth Fire Chief Bill Evans also talked about the rich history the building had.

“This was originally a mining building where they showered and Nottingham was the name of the coal company. This owner, he has been in there. Yesterday he told us it was 32 years,” said Evans.

The owner’s daughter, April Campas said this is a place she grew up in.

Reporter: “So you have a lot of memories in this building?” April Campas: “Yes, we do! I mean since I’m five we’ve been here.”

The cause of the early morning fire is still under investigation. Campas said that he has insurance, and plans to rebuild his shop right away.


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