Classic cars worth thousands lost in fire; owner ready to rebuild

By WEEK Producer

March 9, 2013 Updated Mar 10, 2013 at 10:31 PM CDT

BLOOMINGTON, Ill --  Bloomington authorities are investigating a barn fire that caused about a million dollars worth in damages Saturday night.

That includes several vintage automobiles worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Bloomington firefighters were called to a barn at 3 Northcrest Court around eight Friday night.
Additional, off-duty firefighters were called to help battle the blaze, staying on the scene until about 1:00 a.m.
Authorities say the fire completely destroyed the second story and badly damaged the first story, which serves as a garage for the owner's classic cars, each worth between $80,000 to more than $100,000.
The owner, John Tornquist, spent years restoring the vintage automobiles, many of them at least a century old; and while he and his wife were home next door at the time, no one was hurt.
"I think that all cars are restorable," says Tornquist. "I don't think any of them need to be lost to history and I think it would be a shame. These cars are 100 years old and they're a piece of history and I think they are all salvagable."

Tornquist also says he thinks the fire could have started by his welding equipment sparking a box of towels. 

Cause of the fire is still under investigation, but authorities believe it's accidental.

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