BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – A Boardman business was damaged Friday morning after a company vehicle inside Angel Carriers on Market Street caught fire.
Crews were called to the scene about 8:30 a.m.
Mechanics using a cutting torch on one of the company’s vans in a garage sparked the blaze, quickly filling the business with thick smoke.
The first one on the scene was Boardman Fire Chief Mark Pitzer and he knew then his people had their hands full.
“There was heavy fire inside the structure. The van was on fire inside. Our guys made a great stop and extinguished the fire,” Pitzer said.
Workers quickly fled to safety and no one was hurt.
Tammie Jones and her sister, owner Natalie Rodway, immediately got to work transferring phone lines so they could communicate with their drivers and clients. Angel Carriers provides non-emergency transportation for people needing to get to medical services or doctor appointments.
“In fact, we were making arrangements to have those lines transferred even as the fire department was here extinguishing the fire,” Jones said.
Once the flames were doused, workers had the chance to survey the damage. Two vans were destroyed and the walls were covered with black soot, except in one area where family photos were hanging.
“The company itself began when my father, Ned Riley, saw a need for non-emergency medical transportation as a result of my mother’s own illness and needs,” Jones said.
In 2007, the company had just one van. A year later, Rodway’s father died and she took over. The business now has 24 employees and a fleet of vehicles.
Rodway said the fire will not interrupt service to their clients and the company remains open.
“We won’t leave anybody stranded or anybody without a ride,” Rodway said.