Wood County family searching for answers after their business burns to the ground

WAYNE, Ohio (13abc Action News) - Dave Story and Betsy Tolliver are still in shock after seeing their family business reduced to a pile of rubble.

"Our world is gone," said Tolliver. "I mean, everything we had is in there."

Just after 4:00 a.m. Saturday, firefighters from six different departments responded to reports of a fire at Story Equipment and Repair near Wayne. Once they arrived, firefighters say the repair shop was fully consumed by flames.

"It took 25 years to build and get what I have here and it's gone in 24 hours," said Story.

Story says he had five semi trucks in his shop at the time of the blaze and several small explosions happened due to fuel tanks.

"I've got nine employees I got to worry about, 'What are they going to do for a living?,'" said Story. "I got to worry about what am I going to do for a living?"

While an official cause has yet to be determined, Story says firefighters told him the source of the fire appears suspicious.

"I hope it's not arson," said Story. "I'd hate to think that someone would do something like this. I'd like to think I don't have anyone who would do it to me, personally."

Over the past year, Wood County detectives have investigated nearly a dozen fires with some of them ruled as arson.

"What would you say to people who are doing this—if they are out doing these things—setting these fires?," asked 13abc reporter Michael Bratton. "It's sad that they would ruin people's lives like this," said Tolliver.

Trying to make the best of a bad situation, Story say the focus now is getting back to normal after a setback for his business.

"I'm going to make sure my employees got something to do," said Story. "I'll see what I can do for my customers and we'll get through it somehow."

Representatives from the Ohio State Fire Marshal's office are set to visit the burned out business sometime Monday.

13abc will keep you posted on any updates from the investigation.