WINSTON — The charred remains of the inside of an automobile repair shop were all that was left Tuesday afternoon after a fire raged out of control and gutted the building on Main Street.

Winston-Dillard Fire District and Douglas County Fire District 2 officials responded to a report of a fire on the corner of Southwest Oak Street and Southwest Main Street. The business, A P Motorsports, was engulfed in flames by the time responders reached the building.

“The fire-response time was way slow because they were out at Wildlife Safari doing a training,” said Jon Snawder, the father of the shop’s owner, Steven Snawder. “So the thing burned for, like, 15 minutes before anybody showed up.

“It’s just a shame. Terrible,” he continued. “Everything’s gone.”

Mark Hernandez, a lieutenant with the Winston-Dillard Fire District, said the cause of the fire was still under investigation but confirmed that the fire had started in the northwest corner of the building. He said crews worked for close to an hour to extinguish the fire.

Winston Police Department vehicles and a fully-loaded log truck blocked off westbound traffic coming from the intersection of Main Street and Highway 42. While fire crews worked to extinguish the blaze, community members watched from afar and took photos and videos with their phones.

Jon Snawder said his family purchased the business close to a decade ago. He said along with the building, there were tools and six vehicles — including two Chevy Colorado trucks and a race car — that were lost.

Snawder said he didn’t know how the fire started but said the two employees who were working inside the building tried unsuccessfully to extinguish the fire with the on-hand fire extinguisher. It wasn’t long afterward that emergency personnel were called.

The smoke from the fire could be seen as far away as the Green District. Snawder said the business did not have insurance.

Jon Mitchell is a page designer, photographer and writer for The News-Review. He can be reached at 541-957-4214, or at Follow him on Twitter


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(4) comments


For once we agree THC. This guy is a slippery character with a police record pages long. Arson? Ya think?


I think I found the fish...


ps: Corrected...A P Motorsports is registered.


"Snawder said the business did not have insurance." Does anyone else find this odd? A business with employees and no insurance. A quick search, also finds the business not registered with the State of Oregon. Something smells pretty fishy here.

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