By Jamie Leary
DENVER (CBS4) – A 97-year-old World War II veteran is trying his best to clean up after a fire tore through his business on Tuesday morning.
Harry M. Fleenor Jr. leases out most of the space on his property, Car Sales Ltd. He keeps a modest office and had his garage, which his son built for him.
“It’s a loss to me in more than one way because my son Joe built the building.” Said Fleenor.
Fleenor says he planned to refurbish a car that was inside the garage. Even more important were his books.
Fleenor used to operate a publishing company out of the space. The subjects ranged from how to be an airline host to operating a nursing home.
On Wednesday, as Fleenor sifted through the ash, he was hoping one book in particular survived. A book he published with his son.
“The Restless Souls of Gettysburg, How the Dead March On.” Fleenor announced as he held the book in his hands, the name of his publishing company, ‘State of the Art, Ltd.’ still visible. “There’s pictures in it of ghosts. See the ghost?” He pointed to one of the photos.
Fleenor not only believes in ghosts, he says when you’re there, you can sometimes smell the gunpowder.
Standing among the charred rubble Wednesday, Fleenor put the book to his nose, “now you can smell the smoke from the battlefield… see? Smell it.”
On Tuesday morning, just before 6, a neighboring business captured the flames from Fleenor’s garage.
Denver Fire was quick to the scene and managed to save neighboring buildings but not much from Fleenor’s garage was salvageable.
Fire investigators say they are looking into many possibilities and have not determined a cause.
Jamie Leary joined the CBS4 team in 2015 and currently works as a reporter for CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. She couldn’t imagine a better place to live and work and will stop at nothing to find the next great story. Jamie loves learning about and hearing from her fellow community members, so connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @JamieALeary.