Truck body maker HQ burns

Truck body maker HQ burns
Park Built, circa 1940
Park Built, circa 1940

SYLVESTER, GA (WALB) - The Park-Built Body Company, at 2661 Highway 82 West in Sylvester, which has been in business since 1938, was gutted by a night time fire.

The call came just after 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, and fire official were still on scene Thursday morning, after the ashes re-ignited.

Stacey Roberts, the owner, said the building is a total loss, but no injuries were reported. "We just got a 911 call. Somebody called about 7:30 last night and said they seen flames coming out the top of the building," said Roberts.

Windy conditions rekindled the fire as smoke continued to pour from the company's main building. "Pretty much everything we do on a day to day is in those offices so it's going to take time to recover from that," said Roberts.

Roberts purchased the business a year and a half ago and plans to keep the tradition going. "We definitely want to rebuild. I've lived in Sylvester my whole life and just wanted to make a good business here in town and keep it going," he said.

As they rebuild, they plan to keep the business open. "We're going to try and keep serving our customers. It's just going to be a long process to see and what they'll do with the other building but it's pretty much a total loss," said Roberts.

The community is already rallying around the company, offering office space and anything else that can help.

"We appreciate all the people in the county for helping us out and we'll get everything rebuilt and get back going."

Roberts says they'll do that as quickly as they can.

For decades, many farm trucks across the whole state of Georgia were equipped with wooden bodies constructed at Park Built in Sylvester. They hauled every conceivable farm product, from hay, to peanuts, to pecans and more.

They company now makes many of the steel bodies seen on trucks, both industrial, and other kinds.

Park Built began on Franklin Street, Highway 82, in Sylvester. That structure was torn down, and the Bank of Worth County built a space-age branch there. Currently, the Pizza Quick occupies that site. The company moved to its current site in the 1960s.

Copyright 2015 WALB. All rights reserved.