Fire that destroyed auto body shop may have been started by DUI crash into pole | Poconos and Coal Region

EAST PENN TWP., Pa. – Fifty-eight years of business now turned to ash.

“A lot of memory loss,” said Troy McFarland, co-owner of McFarland & Sons Garage Inc. “It was my livelihood for 30-plus years.”

Troy and Kyle McFarland own the body shop at 396 W. Lizard Creek Road in East Penn Township, Carbon County, where an early-morning fire on Sunday destroyed the building of a company that’s been passed down for generations.  

“Words can’t describe,” said co-owner Kyle McFarland. “It’s sad to see it.”

It all happened at around 3 a.m. Sunday when a car struck a telephone pole off West Lizard Creek Road. 

Pennsylvania State Police report that the driver who hit the pole is a 27-year-old man from Whitehall who is suspected of driving under the influence. 

The crash ultimately set McFarland & Sons Garage on fire. 

“When I first pulled in, I see flames coming out of the garage door, and just like that, the whole building went up in flames,” Troy McFarland said. 

“The firetrucks got here and tried to do the best they could, but it was just too much,” said Kyle McFarland. 

One neighbor lives right where the utility pole went down — a shocking sight to see at 3 a.m. 

“I didn’t know what was going on,” said David Heintzelman, who lives nearby. “I had seen the pole was down and saw the car was over there by the pine tree. I don’t have no power.”

PPL was on site, trying to restore electricity to homes on that street. 

Despite all that happened, the business has no plans to close while the owners try to get back on their feet. 

“We’re still going to be continuing work across the street at our other location (McFarland Auto Sales) to try to keep our customers’ cars serviced and stuff,” Kyle McFarland said. 

The McFarland family is determined to keep their customers happy. They are asking anyone who has an appointment scheduled this week to call the auto sales office at 610-379-4799 to reschedule as needed. 

“Hopefully we can rebuild, come back and still be able to serve the people in the area,” said Troy McFarland.  

In addition to the loss of the auto body shop, a family who lived in an apartment connected to the shop lost all their belongings. 

Fortunately, that family made it out safely, but if you would like to help them, information about how to donate is available on a Facebook post.