Fireworks cause $250K in damage to Arlington wheel repair shop

The aftermath of the fire at Wheel Repair Pro in Green Valley.(Courtesy Milan Cukolavic)

Late Friday night, Milan Cukolavic, owner of Wheel Repair Pro in Arlington, Virginia, received the terrible news that the store he’s owned since 2017 was burning to the ground.

“I got a phone call from the local Chinese restaurant, my neighbors. He was like, ‘Milan, your shop is on fire, get here as soon as possible,'” he told WTOP. “It’s terrible. I don’t know what to say, I’m still kind of in the shock since Saturday.”

No one was hurt in the fire in the one-story building on Shirlington Road near South Glebe Road, but Cukalovic lost priceless items.

“All my machines, all my tools are damaged. I won’t be able to do any work in the near future,” Cukalovic said.

Not only did the fire disrupt his business, it also spoiled a family vacation.

“We (were) planning some vacation, my wife and my 8-year-old daughter. Unfortunately, we had to cancel everything because this is way more important than everything else, of course, this is something that I didn’t expect and it was going to hit hard,” Cukalovic said.

Arlington Fire and EMS blamed fireworks for the fire that caused about $250,000 in damage.

There were six surveillance cameras posted near the building which revealed how the fire began.

“I checked my video cameras and everything, so we noticed that kids were playing with a firework behind the building and one of the fireworks lit behind the building, and that’s how the whole thing started,” Cukalovic said.

He’s hoping for a prompt insurance settlement so that he can rebuild his 7-year-old business.

“I contacted my insurance, they’re willing to help out. I know it won’t be covered 100%, but I need to come (up with money) out of my pocket to get new machines and start again. There is no other solution,” Cukalovic said.

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Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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