It was the day after New Year’s. The Rose Parade was about to begin, and Steve Scaife, like so many other Penn State faithful, looked on in anticipation.
The Philipsburg resident had made the cross-country sojourn with the hope of seeing a Penn State victory. But for Scaife, the bigger loss would happen before the game.
His phone rang.
“It’s like starting over again,” Scaife, 55, said, “and having nothing to show for it.”
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On the second morning of 2017, Scaife’s Philipsburg auto repair business burned to the ground — and with it, nearly 30 years of work. All that was left could be placed in five 1-gallon buckets, he said.
The fire at Scaife’s Affordable Tire and Auto Repair and Accessories, located at 1205 Walton St., took local fire companies about five hours to put out.
“We basically lost everything,” Scaife said.
In the following days, Scaife took to social media for help. On Facebook, he asked if anyone needed auto body work done and gauged the community for a commercial garage available for rent. His former operation had four work bays and four lifts, churning out about 12 to 15 jobs a day. “It was a pretty fast-paced garage,” he said.
Finding a new place has been difficult. But he’s still searching, fingers crossed.
In the interim, he’s working out of his father’s two-car garage. His once “fast-paced” operation has downshifted for now. He has jobs slated for Tuesday and Wednesday, intermingled with more calls and hope for the future.
“We’re just trying to stay open and put food on the table,” he said. “You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”