“Our inventory is still at a minimum, but repairs are being made to the fences and gravel is being put down, and we’re working through it,” said Rockenbaugh. “But I’ll tell you: I don’t wish this on anyone. To be completely wiped out business-wise is tough. But we’ll survive.”
The fire is believed to have started around 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 19 in some tall weeds west of Continental in the 6300 block of Brentwood Boulevard, and then jumped to Rockenbaugh’s 5-acre yard filled with disassembled autos. Gas tanks in the hollowed-out cars, 55-gallon drums and nearby tires might have contributed to a series of explosions that sent thick black smoke into the night sky. By the time the blaze was out, two mobile homes were destroyed and 50 residents evacuated.
“I’ve never had a fire like this,” said Rockenbaugh. “The wind was blowing and it was just devastating. The yard was totally full at the time. It (the fire) destroyed nearly everything.”
Rockenbaugh maintains that there’s no question that the fire started behind his property, and that any fines meted out will not include his business.
“We were not fined for anything and we won’t be,” said Rockenbaugh. “There is no dispute about where it (the fire) started, and everyone at the city (Brentwood) has been very supportive.”
Louis Kidwell, chief building official for the City of Brentwood, said Rockenbaugh has met all of the city’s requirements for reopening, including past requests for cleanup and disposal of items on the property.
“He’s (Rockenbaugh) complied with everything we asked of him and so he’s ready to go,” said Kidwell. “We’d been asking him to make some changes on his property for eight or nine months and he’d begun to make some prior to the fire, but now he’s been able to make them all and things out there look great.”
Trying to put the incident behind him, Rockenbaugh has been busy restocking his auto yard and preparing for a grand re-opening celebration in a few weeks.
“People have been coming in asking me when we are opening and I tell them right now,” said Rockenbaugh. “In another three or four weeks we’ll be fully graveled and fully stocked and then we’ll have an official re-opening. But we’re open now; people are welcome to come and see that we’re still here. We’re survivors.”
Continental Pull-N-Save is located at 6337 Brentwood Blvd. and open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 925-240-5906.