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Fire devastates Fresno wrecking yard

Records, prize cars destroyed in Sept. 11 fire at Turner's.

In addition to having a stock of over 10,000 vintage vehicles on hand, Turner was an avid restorer of vintage tin. When we toured his yard back in 1994, it was from the front seat on a beautiful 1934 Ford Tudor.

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After the devastating fire to the office complex on Turner’s
Auto wrecking in Fresno, Calif, little remained except this large
stationary motor and a Ford flathead V8 engine (Jere Gauss photo).

On Friday evening, Sept. 11, 2009, a spark from an unknown source ignited in the main office of Turner’s Auto Wrecking, and before the Fire department could respond, much of the building was in flames. Lost were many of the records and files on the cars that were in the yard, as well as customer contacts and other business files. Also lost were a number of shipments that had been prepared to be shipped to customers around the world. Fortunately, there were no reported injuries.

Also collectors could give a sigh of relief as most all of the cars in stock were spared, but not so lucky were several prize cars that Turner had coveted, including a handsomely restored 1947 Mercury convertible, plus a number of other vehicles under construction.

Late last year a spark from a welder’s torch had set off a blaze on another of Turners buildings, that one holding a large quantity of Corvette parts, and the lost there was valued at around $100,000. At the time of press, we had not received an estimate of damages with the recent blaze.

“I’m glad that he will be coming back soon,” said Fresno resident Jere Gauss, “It seems like every time I’ve needed part for one of my projects Turner’s has had it, and at a reasonable price to bought.”

Undaunted by the horrific fire, the following Saturday afternoon, Turner and his crew were undertaking the task of trying to salvage anything that could be found in the remains of the office, and he was attempting to secure some temporary buildings so that business could reopen as soon as possible.

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