NORMAN — The Hibdon Tires Plus store destroyed by fire on Sunday will be rebuilt, although maybe not at the same location, company officials said.
The store at 221 N Interstate Drive is one of two Hibdon Tires Plus stores in Norman. The other store at 501 N Interstate Drive will now open on Sundays to help with customer demand while the other store is being rebuilt, said Susan Steeno, public relations manager for Bridgestone Retail Operations in Bloomington, Ill.
Dates, sites studied
“We're in the very early stages of evaluation regarding a specific location and reconstruction dates,” she said.
The company's first concern is employee and customer safety, Steeno said, “and thankfully no one was hurt.”
About 25 employees worked at the store, with 11 of them on the premises when the fire ignited about 5:45 p.m., she said. Customers had left for the day, and the employees were in the process of closing.
Fire officials said the blaze accelerated rapidly but was brought under control in about an hour. Firefighters remained on the scene for hours, however, and returned on Monday to ensure all hot spots were extinguished, Deputy Fire Chief Jim Bailey said.
The fire's cause remains under investigation, he said, with most of the effort so far concentrated on removing a collapsed metal roof so investigators can get to the debris underneath. Hazardous materials crews also worked Monday to clean up oily runoff from the fire, caused by numerous melting tires.
A preliminary damage estimate has been set at $1.75 million.
Steeno said the 25 workers from the store have been relocated to other metro area stores, including the other Norman shop.