Glass Shop Struggles After Fire Destroys Its Facility
September 8, 2011

By Sahely Mukerji

After a fire razed Johnny and Sunny's Glass Shop on September 6, its owners are wondering how they'll get back on their feet. "Insurance will probably not be able to cover a quarter of what we lost," says John Lynch, son of the owner. Thankfully, no lives were lost and no one was injured.

The fire that started around 4:30 p.m. at the warehouse housing Johnny and Sunny's Glass Shop, at 4255 Industrial Center in San Antonio, Texas, took between 3 and 4 hours to control, says Wesley West, fire chief at Fire Station # 38 in San Antonio. "It was a three-alarm fire that took 25 pieces of equipment and about 100 personnel to control," he says. "The smoke from the fire, an 8-inch column, could be seen 10 miles away."

Lindsey Robert, secretary at Johnny and Sunny's, was one of the eight people in the shop when the fire broke. "Kenny [brother of the owner] stepped outside for a minute and saw the fire," she says. "He came in and told us. If he didn't see it, we wouldn't have known about it until it was too late."

Within five minutes the whole place was full of smoke, Lynch says. "All we had time to do was pull out the three work trucks and two personal vehicles up front," he says. "And then we watched our business of 43 years burn down to the ground. There are so many memories in there."

The cause of the fire is under investigation, West says. The glass shop shared the warehouse with a nail supply store, and the concern was that that company had acetone which may have contributed to the fire, he says.

The glass shop was separated from the beauty supply company by a piece of sheet metal, Robert says. "The fire started off on the other side, and spread through the sheet metal over to us," she says. "It was very hard to put out. There were over 20 fire trucks here, and what they were using to put out the fire was just evaporating." The owner was not in at the time, but later said he could see the smoke from far away where he was, Robert says.

Two people working the phone lines, a customer with two daughters, Lynch and Robert, along with her puppy, were evacuated from the warehouse, along with the local businesses. Local businesses were closed as well.

"It's a metal building, and you don't think a metal building would light up like that," Lynch says." Our shop's 3 feet tall now."

You either harp on the loss or keep moving and get the business moving, Lynch says. "We have at least four companies that run off our company," he says. "We have a lot of good friends out here who came in to help. One company has let us borrow their warehouse. We went and bought some used tables and racks to re-open shop."

Johnny and Sunny's Glass Shop provides replacement glass for windows, shower enclosures, patio doors, mirrors and screens. Currently, the shop is operating from a warehouse at Beyer Racing at 4712 Broom St.; phone number is the same: 210/653-1810.

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