MONTCALM TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) - Chances are you've heard the saying: "When you get knocked down, brush yourself off and get back up."
Jack Nelson, who watched his livelihood devastated for the second time in a 11 years by a massive fire last month, is doing just that.
"'Lo and behold, you get that call and it knocks you to your knees," said Nelson as he stood on the site of the business he built, then rebuilt. "It's been extremely hard this time around."
In 2001, arson destroyed Nelsons Speed Shop the first time. Two men, allegedly hired by a Lansing-area competitor, were convicted of setting that fire.
A Special Response Team from the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was brought in to investigate last month's fire. They haven't ruled out anything, including another arson.
==== Photos of the fire ====
While Nelson's down, he's not out. A sign out front says he's open for business.
"Of course, you've got a lot of employees depending on you," said Nelson. "But the customer overflow, and the response with cards and 'if you need tools...' or 'if we can help you in any way...' You know, that touches you."
As crews tear apart what's left of the building that housed the business on M-91 north of Greenville, employees have turned a couple of snowmobile trailers into makeshift offices.
It's tough. They're still waiting for phone lines and are asking customers to contact them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
But the salespeople are still selling and the service department is still fixing.
Nelson said he plans to rebuild, but on a smaller scale this time around.
"When it burns you lose a lot more things," he explained.
So what about the man who was knocked down not once, but twice by a devastating fire, then stepped back, took a deep breath and decided to start all over again?
"You know, you don't do it for the the dollars. Your doing it for what you believe in. I guess is what it boils down to," said Nelson.
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