Instead, the 61-year-old is picking up the pieces of his business and starting over.
Baus Repair and Body Shop, at 222 E. Prospect Ave. in Veblen, burned to the ground on March 13. Baus said the fire is believed to have been caused by electrical problems.
“We left at 5:30 (p.m.) and I got called 20 minutes later that the shop was on fire,” Baus said by phone recently. “I tried getting in and I couldn’t.”
Baus’ was the only repair shop in the Marshall County town of roughly 500 people. With the loss, the community is banding together to help get Baus working again.
That’s why, despite not having business insurance, Baus thinks a new shop will be up and running sooner rather than later.
“I have a lot of friends and family that are helping me. Customers, too,” he said.
In fact, he already has a building from which he can operate. The owner is even leaving some of his tools to get Baus started while he sees if he can make the building work for his business.
The fire took all of Baus’ equipment, a few vehicles, tires and everything that was in a connected warehouse, he said.
It wasn’t the first time Baus had a business destroyed by fire. A previous building on the same cement slab burned in 1989, the victim of a wood stove, Baus said.
“I never thought we’d have that problem again,” he said.
Baus’ daughters have set up a GoFundMe account to help cover the loss of the business, income and personal belongs.
“(My dad) has definitely built up the business a lot. He has a lot of good customers,” Amanda Baus said. “The community is already feeling the loss.”
That’s true in that a previously scheduled wild game feed at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Veblen Legion Hall will now also act as a fundraiser for Dave Baus. It will include a silent auction and a gun raffle, Amanda Baus said.
Dave Baus also has several family members in the auto repair industry.
“It’s something in our blood. We’re all mechanics,” he said.
Now that’s a job title he’ll hold on to for longer than expected.
“I just got to start over. That was my retirement,” Baus said. “A couple more years and I would’ve had someone else take over. Now I gotta work for a while yet.”
We would like to thank Dakota Media Group for reprint permission.