The owner of the wood flooring van that was destroyed by a fire Saturday says he has lost his entire business in the accident.
Mark James Villafuerte of Thornton, Colo.-based Home Sweet Hardwood told FOX 31 Denver that the van had all of his tools and supplies inside it when the explosion occurred.
Villafuerte received second-degree burns on his hand and leg when, after seeing smoke coming from the van Saturday morning, he opened the back doors to try to pull out his tools and was met with a “fireball.” He also attempted to move the burning van away from neighboring cars. The fire spread to his girlfriend’s car, which had been parked next to the van. Villafuerte had surgery for his injuries on Sunday.
Villafuerte disputed local police speculation that stain rags had spontaneously combusted in the van, and instead cited the heat trapped in the van as the cause of the fire.
“I have been in this industry for 14 years. Learning how to take care of rags and combustibles is day-one stuff you learn,” he told FOX. “The only thing I can think of is the heat, how hot it was in there.”
Villafuerte estimated he lost equipment worth up to $50,000 in the accident. Though all of the tools were insured, he said he’s having difficulty claiming the money from the insurance company.
Villafuerte’s losses from time spent healing from his burns will not be covered by insurance, and his family started a GoFundMe page to raise money for the small family business.