Becker's Tire future is uncertain; limited operations since Sept. blaze

Becker’s Tire Service continues to operate on a limited basis after a fire destroyed the building that housed the longtime Grand Gorge business.

The tragic fire early on the morning of September 27 gutted the former creamery that housed the business for nearly half-a-century. Several vehicles, assorted equipment and an inventory of several thousand new snow tires also went up in the blaze.

Rick and Machelle Haight, who bought the business about five years ago, have been operating on a limited basis since shortly after the blaze. An adjacent building used for storing farm equipment tires was not damaged. One of the service trucks was also spared, because Rick had taken the vehicle home.

Taking care of customers with farm tire needs has kept the staff busy. The owners have also been ordering tires for some customers, but they are still trying to determine long-range plans.

A company employee indicated that working through insurance issues has gone well, but said they are still owed a substantial amount of money from customers who have unpaid balances. Because all of the company’s records were ruined and they had no backup, the Haights are relying upon customers to send in the amounts owed.

The cause of the Becker fire remains under investigation. Delaware County Sheriff’s Department officials said last month that they are trying to determine if an area man arrested for an attempted break-in at the Northern Catskills Occupational Center BOCES had any connection with the Becker’s fire and a suspicious blaze that destroyed another Grand Gorge business, Sundae’s restaurant. The attempted burglary at BOCES and the Sundae’s fire occurred within a short time of each other on the morning of October 14.