Carlton Automotive rises from the ashes

Phillip Bock , USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin 5:53 a.m. CT Jan. 19, 2017

The exterior of the new facility | Carlton Automotive
The exterior of the new facility for Carlton Automotive as seen in this submitted photo.(Photo: Carlton Automotive/submitted)

OOSTBURG - Carlton Automotive has risen from the ashes of a fire a year ago to build a new state-of-the-art facility just off of Interstate 43.

Just before 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 23, 2016, a leaky gas-tank in a car being worked on in the shop caught fire, which spread and burned down a large section of the Carlton Automotive businesses.

When the fire broke out, owner Carl Roethel was not on site, but was just a few blocks away at a car wash.

“My pager went off and I heard the address and thought,  what’s going on now,'” he laughed.

Roethel, who was assistant fire chief in Oostburg at the time, and six of his employees are all firefighters. Three were working at the time of the blaze.

Firefighters work the fire | Carlton Automotive
Firefighters work the fire at Carlton Automotive Saturday January 23, 2016 in Oostburg. Several area fire departments assisted at the scene. (Photo: Carlton Automotive/submitted)

“After they determined they could not do anymore, they ran to the fire house, got their gear, and worked feverishly to put the fire out,” Roethel said.

At the time, the automotive shop was housed in an older building, constructed in the 1940's, and an addition built in 2000. The addition was destroyed in the fire.

“We lost half our facility at that point,” he said. “With the help of our employees, we were up and running and working on cars again the following Monday. We were all packed into one building.”

Roethel said he always dreamed of building a state-of-the art shop — and the fire accelerated those plans. Construction documents were drawn up in the months after the fire and the company broke ground in July on a new building just off of Interstate 43 in Oostburg.

“We hope to grow the business," Roethel said. "We are the entrance to the Village of Oostburg and wanted to have a nice looking entrance to the village as well.”

The new building nearly doubles the size of the business, from 6,500 square feet before to around 12,000 today. The number of hoists was increased from 8 to 10 and the number of work-bays was increased from nine to 15.

“Right now, we have six technicians. I’d like to get up to eight at some point,” Roethel said.

Owner Carl Roethel and his wife | Carlton Automotive
Carlton Automotive owner Carl Roethel and his wife Linda pose inside their new shop Tuesday January 17, 2017 in Oostburg.  Gary C. Klein/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

The new facility also includes more space for offices, a customer waiting area, in-floor heat throughout and a parts storage room.

“Before we never had a parts area," Roethel  said. "We just had stuff hanging on walls wherever we could find room."

Carlton Automotive, located at 39 Center Avenue in Oostburg, is a full service auto repair shop with towing capability and a small used car sales lot. For more information, visit carltonautomotive.com.

Reach reporter Phillip Bock at 920-453-5121, [email protected],

Aaron Roethel works on repairing | Carlton Automotive
Carlton Automotive's Aaron Roethel works on repairing a car's heating system Tuesday January 17, 2017 in Oostburg.  Gary C. Klein/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

The service bays | Carlton Automotive
The service bays at Carlton Automotive's new facility as seen Tuesday January 17, 2017 in Oostburg. Gary C. Klein/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

The tire changing area | Carlton Automotive
The tire changing area at the new Carlton Automotive facility as seen Tuesday January 17, 2017 in Oostburg. Gary C. Klein/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Firefighters work the fire | Carlton Automotive
Firefighters work the fire at Carlton Automotive Saturday January 23, 2016 in Oostburg. Several area fire departments assisted at the scene.  Carlton Automotive/submitted

Smoke billows at the fire | Carlton Automotive
Smoke billows at the fire at Carlton Automotive Saturday January 23, 2016 in Oostburg. Several area fire departments assisted at the scene.  Randy Roethel/submitted

People and fire trucks surround | Carlton Automotvie
People and fire trucks surround Carlton Automotvie Saturday January 23, 2016 in Oostburg. Several area fire departments, including Oostburg, Cedar Grove, Town of Wilson, Kohler, Haven, Waldo and Plymouth assisted at the scene.  Gary C. Klein/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Firefighters inspect the damage caused by a fire | Carlton Automotive
Firefighters inspect the damage caused by a fire at Carlton Automotive Saturday January 23, 2016 in Oostburg. Several area fire departments, including Oostburg, Cedar Grove, Town of Wilson, Kohler, Haven, Waldo and Plymouth assisted at the scene. Gary C. Klein/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Fire trucks at the scene of | Carlton Automotive
Fire trucks at the scene of the Carlton Automotive fire Saturday January 23, 2016 in Oostburg. Several area fire departments, including Oostburg, Cedar Grove, Town of Wilson, Kohler, Haven, Waldo and Plymouth assisted at the scene. Gary C. Klein

Fire trucks surround | Carlton Automotive
Fire trucks surround Carlton Automotive following a fire at the firm Saturday January 23, 2016 in Oostburg. Several area fire departments, including Oostburg, Cedar Grove, Town of Wilson, Kohler, Haven, Waldo and Plymouth assisted at the scene.  Gary C. Klein/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Firefighters regroup following a fire | Carlton Automotive
Firefighters regroup following a fire at Carlton Automotive Saturday January 23, 2016 in Oostburg. Several area fire departments, including Oostburg, Cedar Grove, Town of Wilson, Kohler, Haven, Waldo and Plymouth assisted at the scene.  Gary C. Klein/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Firefighters gather by a fire truck following a fire | Carlton Automotive
Firefighters gather by a fire truck following a fire at Carlton Automotive Saturday January 23, 2016 in Oostburg. Several area fire departments, including Oostburg, Cedar Grove, Town of Wilson, Kohler, Haven, Waldo and Plymouth assisted at the scene.  Gary C. Klein/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Firefighters look at damage following a fire | Carlton Automotive
Firefighters look at damage following a fire at Carlton Automotive Saturday January 23, 2016 in Oostburg. Several area fire departments, including Oostburg, Cedar Grove, Town of Wilson, Kohler, Haven, Waldo and Plymouth assisted at the scene.  Gary C. Klein/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

A sign at | Carlton Automotive
A sign at Carlton Automotive following a fire at the firm Saturday January 23, 2016 in Oostburg. Several area fire departments, including Oostburg, Cedar Grove, Town of Wilson, Kohler, Haven, Waldo and Plymouth assisted at the scene.  Gary C. Klein/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

 

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Happy New Year from Carlton Automotive!

It’s that time again, where we think about the goals that we want to make for the new year. While you may be thinking the usual, such as being on time more often, visiting family, or going to the gym more often, you may not have considered making a resolution or two for your vehicle. Here are some resolution ideas that you can make for your car to keep you safe on the road into 2019!

 

Clean Out your Car
 

Cleaning out the inside of your vehicle will help you to feel more organized and give your car that new car feeling! A clutter car can make it difficult to feel comfortable while driving, especially for passengers.

 

Schedule your Vehicle Maintenance Deadlines in your Planner
 

The most important part of owning a vehicle is staying current with your vehicle’s recommended maintenance and services. If you have a planner or calendar, jotting down dates of your upcoming services will help you keep track of when it’s time to bring your vehicle into the shop.

 

Get a Car Wash
 

If it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned the outside of your car, getting a car wash more often is the perfect New Year’s resolution to make. A clean car is also important when it comes to being able to accurately see out of your vehicle windshields and windows while driving.

 

Check your Tires
 

Your tires are an important safety feature of your car, and should be inspected regularly to ensure that they have a good amount of tread and that they are set to the correct air pressure. You can always bring your vehicle into our auto repair shop for a quick check up to make sure that your tires are in good condition.

 

Drive Safer and Smarter
 

Going into the New Year, make changes to drive safer and smarter on the road. Driving safe will ensure that you get to your destination and that others are also safe on the road. When you drive smarter, such as not speeding, you actually get better performance and gas mileage from your vehicle.

 

Organize Paperwork

Have you ever needed your registration or car title and couldn’t find it to save your life? Taking a quick moment to locate your vehicle’s registration, car title, manual, and other important documents and storing them in a file in your glove compartment will make it easy for you to find what you need when you need it!

 

We hope that will the start of the new year, you will do more to care for your vehicle. Happy New Year from us, to you! For all of your auto repair or maintenance needs, give us a call today or schedule an appointment online.

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