Driving into work is something we all do that is an ordinary event that we take for granted. For Travis in Marysville, OH, it was anything but uneventful one day in March. He happened to arrive to work just a little late due to a doctor’s appointment for his son. When he pulled up to the shop where he does work on classic car restoration, he was turned away by the fire brigade due to a massive fire at the shop.
Being sequestered a block away, Travis was frantically calling his brother, who also works in the shop that is now ablaze. Thankfully, he eventually found out that his brother, as well as all of his coworkers, got out of the shop just in time. In fact, his brother, who he considers his best friend, had to run past fire & gas tanks to get out of the building. Twenty seconds after he got out of the door, the tanks ignited.
So what exactly happened? To start his day, a fellow technician began work on a fuel pump. All prep work for the job was completed to ensure a safe workspace, including disconnecting the car’s battery. Even with taking proper precautions, something in the car sparked which caused it to catch fire.
To make matters worse, oxygen and argon tanks were sitting right next to the car. In what seemed to be no time at all, the entire building was engulfed in flames.
Once allowed back into the building, everyone thought all was lost. “When we were finally let back into the building I only thought “Holy hell, everything is done. My tools and livelihood are gone. I might need to switch careers and go back to construction.”
While the automotive shop was a total loss, Travis found that his Matco toolbox survived. Unfortunately, his fellow co-workers’ competitor toolboxes and tools were a lost to the fire.
When Travis got his Matco box out of the shop, he was shocked to find that his tools inside were unaffected by the fire, regardless of the fact that Matco toolboxes are not fire rated. The only casualty was the deodorant he had inside a drawer; no tools, power strips or drawer liners had melted inside. Location was not a factor, as his brother’s toolbox was parked right next to his own in a particularly hot location of the fire.
Now that the toolbox was out, it was time to see how it would clean up to see what he would have to store his tools for the time being.
Power washing didn’t work. Soap, orange cleaner, and Brillo pad didn’t work. The only thing that did the trick was a wire brush on a drill that took off the thick layer of soot that was almost glued to the box and trim. Once his brother buffed the box, it looked brand new.
Astounded, Travis took to social media to show how his Matco toolbox and the tools inside survived his shop fire. Which is how we found out about this incredible, yet heartbreaking event.
When asked if he had anything else to add to this story, Travis replied “Tell the employees at the toolbox plant to keep up the good work. Thank you! None of the other tool companies have helped us out, so I have to say thank you as well to [my Matco Distributor] Shane and our boss that have helped me, and all of us, through this. It helped me justify the investment, especially to my wife. She’s finally happy I bought the toolbox.”
While we found that Travis’ box does need minor repairs to drawer slides and outside badging, we couldn’t be happier to hear the Matco box helped save his livelihood. We understand that a mechanic’s investment and future paycheck is stored inside their toolbox, and we couldn’t be more proud to be part of a happy outcome to a devastating situation.
We don’t just claim Matco toolboxes to be the best built in the world, we live it. We stand by it. The toolbox belonging to Travis in Marysville, OH is proof.