Kelly Wolcott of Kelly's Auto Salvage and Wrecking Yard in Arlee suffered a devastating fire on July 27 that destroyed much of his facility and damaged hundreds of vehicles.

One of his friends and neighbors, Michael Burks, is helping to spread the word that Kelly's will be holding a volunteer clean-up party on Saturday, August 12. Wolcott described how the fire started.

"The entire investigative report is not yet finished", Wolcott said on Monday. "The fire came in from the neighbors, came into our yard and proceeded to burn up 467 cars."

The blaze brought quick response from area firefighting agencies, including a plane that dropped retardant on the burning cars. Now, there is a lot of work to be done cleaning up the damage. However, Wolcott is hesitant to open the invitation to just anyone, due to the nature of the damage.

"I'm scared of just making this a wide open invitation," Wolcott said. "So, if we do get people coming in they need to be able-bodied, they need to have some familiarity with cars. We've got a lot of automotive parts that are scattered all over from the fire. There's a lot of glass. It's not work for just anyone."

Wolcott is especially concerned that volunteers do not bring their children during the clean-up effort scheduled for this Saturday starting at 10 a.m..

"We need people who are not afraid of getting dirty," he said. "They need good gloves and boots, and since retardant was dropped on the burning vehicles, know it's a big mess. Bring a shovel and a rake and be prepared to work."

To keep from being overwhelmed, Wolcott is asking volunteers to contact his business this week and let him know you will be coming. The number to Kelly's Auto Salvage and Wrecking Yard is 406-726-3400. .


More From Newstalk KGVO 1290 AM & 98.3 FM