As flames and black smoke poured from Tilden Brakes in Huntington back in July, it was hard to imagine the shop back in business any time soon.
But it is, with the determination of the Montefusco family and the help from customers and friends. While the work is done at a nearby shop that gave the family workspace, Joe Montefusco and his sons, Thomas and Pat, manage the business from a trailer as the damaged building undergoes repair.
The two brothers said the family was able to get back to business almost immediately when a customer lent them a mobile home and others arranged for the restoration of phone lines. Another added a touch of landscaping outside the trailer. And businesses, such as All-Weather Tires, S Automotive Services and Foster's Auto Care, also pitched in. And the town, Thomas said, speeding permits along to get the business back in operation.
The fire broke out about 2:45 p.m. July 26 and quickly spread. Thomas Montefusco said when a fuel pump that was being changed ignited some fuel. Six vehicles were in the bays at the time. "They all went up like matchsticks," he said. "They created their own little infernos."
But the family doesn't dwell on the fire. It instead is focused on reopening completely at its 800 New York Avenue location. While opening before the end of the year "is on our Christmas list," early in the New Year is more probable. But it's the many Huntington residents who helped out who stick in their minds.