Family plans to rebuild after fire destroys their Phoenix business

PHOENIX - A family-owned Valley business has started the process of rebuilding just a day after a massive fire ripped through their building and destroyed everything.

The industrial fire near the Interstate 10 and Interstate 17 stack in Phoenix ripped through three buildings.

For the Breecher family, it meant 30 years of business gone in an instant.

Three generations are working at Breecher Sales right now.

 They work in the plumbing and air conditioning industry.

As the cleanup begins, the Breechers are salvaging what they can.

Computer hard drives and documents locked in a file cabinet were saved. They even found employee award plaques, singed by the flames.

But everything else is gone.

"We have a lot of history here in this building, and have enjoyed the area for a long period of time," said Sam Breecher.

Sam's parents founded Breecher Sales in 1975. Now he runs the place with his brother.

"Well, we've had a few fire drills in our life, so to speak. Not necessarily like this one," Sam said.

Sam was working Thursday when a knock on the door changed everything.

"When I came out, the flames were shooting about 25 to 35 feet in the air from our neighbor's yard," he said.

He watched his livelihood burn to the ground. A day later, he's picking up the pieces.

"There's part of pinball machines that are burned up, and one's still sitting there," he said, pointing at black piles of rubble.

Most of it, like his prized collection of pinball machines from the 1940s and 50s, is gone forever.

And some family history parked behind the building is gone too.

"My brother and I have a '65 and a '66 Mustang in the back that my dad had bought brand new. So we're a little sad over that," Breecher said.

But his family is okay, and that's what's important. So with their help, Sam will rebuild.

"We've got great customers and great support, so we will get through this. It'll be a little bump in the road, but we'll get through it," he said.

Investigators are still looking into the exact cause of the fire.

Fire officials say welding activity could have contributed, but they're not sure yet.

They expect this investigation to go on for a while.

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