Race Car Owner Vows to Rebuild After Fire

Warehouse fire burned destroys one race car, threatened others stored nearby

A morning fire burned down a part of a warehouse housing race cars, but the car owners say they aren't giving up on their dreams.

About 25 Grand Prairie firefighters fought the blaze in the 500 block of East Rock Island Road by Belt Line Road on Monday morning.

A truck and a race car inside the warehouse complex were destroyed.

"This is our life," Chandra Kelly said. "This is his dream all of his life, right here."

Mike Cress said racing cars has been his lifelong dream.

"We raced last year, we got top 10 -- first year out, top 10," he said. "We've been working on it, getting it ready for February."

But Kelly said they are going to recover.

"Nothing is going to stop his dreams, nothing," Kelly said.

Firefighters originally responded to a call about smoke at the building. But they realized it was much more when they arrived.

"[The] difficulty we're having now is, it got up into the roof area, so we've been having trouble getting up there because we don't believe the roof is safe to get on top of," arson investigator Paul Hobin said.

But the situation could have been much worse. Luckily Cress drained his vehicle of any gasoline, he said. More race cars filled with fuel were right next door to the fire.

"There's racing fuel, high-octane alcohol in there for racing cars, and so we got very lucky nothing exploded on these guys," said Rick Huddleston, who owns the space and thanked the firefighters for their quick response. "Racing fuel burns at 112 to 115 octane, a whole lot more than regular pump gas."

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The mobile crime lab was also dispatched to the fire scene. Fire Chief Robert Fite said investigators are looking into the power lines in the main building.

Contact Us