STRASBURG — After Nash Garage suffered a devastating fire in early November that displaced renters and destroyed family memorabilia, owner Ricci Troxell intended to rebuild.
“My plan right now is to get the roof back on this building, because underneath, it’s still good,” Troxell said in late December. “My plan is to get this roof back on as soon as possible.”
A month later, having secured a building permit and ironed out the details with his insurance company, Troxell started work on roof trusses to protect the building from the elements.
But nature, it seemed, had other plans, when Sunday night’s surprise windstorm tore out the new trusses.
“It just won’t end,” Troxell said on Monday. “That wind just came from nowhere.”
Remarking on the unbelievable strength of the wind, Troxell said if he’d had some notice, he would have tried to brace the roof to protect it. Nevertheless, a little wind isn’t going to stop him.
“We got more trusses coming on the 14th,’ he said.
Intent on finishing the roof as soon as possible, Troxell said he’s in less of a hurry to complete other plans for restoring the building.
The property at 144 Front Royal Road has been with his family since the 1930s, Troxell said.
His grandfather, James S. Troxell, started Shenandoah Wrecking Company in 1934, the Strasburg Heritage Association describes at its website, strasburgvaheritage.org/nash-bldg.html.
He opened the Strasburg Nash dealership in the early 1950s and ran it until he died in 1970.
Troxell’s father James “Jimmy” E. Troxell, now 82, joined the business in 1962, the website states.
In 2015, the family renovated the building, Ricci Troxell said. Until the fire on Nov. 4, the building was an antique car showroom, housing the family’s cars and memorabilia.
When the building caught fire, all of the memorabilia was destroyed. The building was insured, and Troxell had car insurance on some of the vehicles. But the rest were uninsured.
Most of the cars can be fixed, having sustained roof damage when the building fell on them — all except for his 1957 Chevrolet, which caught on fire.
The 1970 AMC Rebel Machine he’s had since high school had water inside, but he said it’s insured.
David Ferguson, fire marshal for Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue, said in November that the fire started in the attic of the building.
Despite the loss to his family, Troxell has said he’s glad it wasn’t worse. No one was injured in the fire, and the building’s cinder block exterior is “in good shape.”
And except for the recent windfall, Troxell said the last three months have been relatively quiet.
“Everything went pretty smooth here since the fire,” he said.
In recent years, the building housed the family’s private museum, with renters using the attached apartment and workshop space. Troxell said he’ll take his time in deciding what to do next.
“The exact plan of the building I’m not sure,” he said, adding that he is going to get a roof on as soon as possible. The rest, he said, will be “at my leisure.”