Owner wants compensation after building fire destroys car

Owner wants compensation after building fire destroys car

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A Midlands car owner says he has not received any help or compensation after his car was destroyed while parked in a repair shop that caught on fire back in February.

Scott Brown had his car towed to Sandy Run Towing on North Main Street for brake repairs, but he never got his car back. The building went up in flames overnight destroying everything inside. Since then, Scott says he has not gotten any compensation after losing his car.

The owners of Sandy Run Towing said they had insurance at the time of the fire, but their insurance company said because the fire was caused by an electrical issue, the building owner's insurance should cover the damage. The problem is the owner of the building that housed Sandy Run Towing reportedly had no insurance.

"The insurance company refused to pay us because they say it's a building problem, which would fall under the responsibility of the owner of the building. We weren't the owner of the building," Mike Wallace, the co-owner of Sandy Run Towing, said.

According to a notice posted by the city on the front door of where the fire happened, Shelia Johnson is the owner of the building.

"She don't have no insurance," Wallace said.

Angelo McBride, program administrator with the Office of Business of Opportunities said this is against city policy.

"It's a risk that small business owners just don't want to take. If you are a particular owner and you're renting or leasing, you are still required to have your renter's insurance. As well as the person who's doing the leasing, they're required to have insurance, as well. That way both are protected," McBride said.

Not only is it required, McBride said it is a must just in case of the unexpected.

"If you're properly protected that means you can probably survive, you can rebound, and you can recover," McBride said.

McBride went on to say that some business owners fail to realize this point.
"They don't take time out to walk through the checklist. What are the things I need to have? What are those risks associated with the business? And then, how do I mitigate those risks? Insurance is at the top of the list and if they don't do that then you're asking yourself to put your entire business on the line."

WIS reached out to Shelia Johnson, who confirmed she does own the building where the fire happened, but she declined to speak with us on the record.

Brown, the owner of the car that was destroyed in the fire says he is prepared to take legal action.

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