As if the fire that consumed a Mission district tire shop earlier this month wasn’t devastating enough for the store’s owners, someone broke into the dilapidated building Tuesday and robbed the shop of some of its remaining inventory.
The century-old building that housed Rolling Stock wheel dealer and auto repair at 16th and Shotwell streets since 2009 burned down almost two weeks ago. The cause of the fire that sent a burning rubber smell across The City on Nov. 9 has yet to be determined.
Rahna Brown, who owns the business with her husband Adam Hassett, said their insurance adjuster noticed someone had busted a hole in the building. Hassett then discovered a thief or thieves ransacked the remains of their store, stealing tools, toilet paper and two sets of wheels.
Before the fire, the store carried about 2,000 tires and 4,000 wheels. Brown estimated they could salvage some 20 or 30 tires and 250 wheels after the fire, but then eight of those wheels were stolen.
“It’s kind of like our baby died,” said Brown, adding that the future is uncertain for them. “We love that location, we love the Mission district, we love 16th Street. … I don’t know if we’re going to be able to stay local.”
The couple hired a security guard to watch their remaining inventory Wednesday night and planned to salvage what they could the next day.
“If there can be anything good that came from this, it’s just been the enormous support from the community,” Brown said. She said passersby have been stopping and offering hugs to her husband since the fire.
The couple set up a fundraiser page on GoFundMe to pay for holiday bonuses for their 17 employees that lost their jobs and have raised more than $16,000, reaching their goal.
There’s also been support from their children’s school and from firefighters.
“Somebody reached out from the fire department and allowed our employees who have small children to come out and get gifts,” Brown said.