‘Hopefully we’ll be back. We just love y’all’: Clarksville tire shop uncertain of future after massive fire

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Owners of The Wheel Shop in Clarksville are still working to determine next steps after a massive fire destroyed their business of more than 20 years on Sunday.

Steve Ashby and his wife, Cindy, were shocked after getting an alert from their security system. The couple worked to start picking up the pieces Monday.

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“We spend 60 or 70 hours a week over here, and been here for over 22 years,” Steve said outside The Wheel Shop on Monday, April 29. “I just kept thinking that they’re going to get it pulled out, but it didn’t. Tires caught on fire and it was five hours after that getting it put out.”

Cindy said the shop was more than just a job for their family.

“It’s not just our business, it’s our life. We’ve raised my kids here, our grandkids, and now great grandkids,” she said.

Not only did Steve and Cindy raise their children at The Wheel Shop, but they also helped others out along the way. Cindy recalled phone calls from parents with college students and young soldiers stationed at Fort Campbell.

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“We get thank you notes all the time from different people out of town, out of state, that we’ve put tires on their kids cars because they’re at Austin Peay and they’re in this town, you know, they don’t know anybody,” Cindy said.

The Ashbys aren’t sure if they’ll be able to rebuild and reopen. However, Cindy knows her husband isn’t ready to throw in the towel yet.

“I like what I do, and we have a lot of good customers that’ve been loyal to us for the whole 22 years; a lot of them bought their first wheels when they were teenagers and now they’ve got their kids that’s teenagers and now they’re buying, so it’s tough,” Steve said.

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The Ashbys hoped to leave the business to their four sons, 12 grandchildren, and eventually, their three great grandchildren. They remain hopeful, however, and thanked customers who have reached out and offered to help them rebuild.

“Everybody that comes in knows us, and we’re all family to them and we just love our customers,” Cindy said. “Hopefully we’ll be back; we just love y’all.”

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