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Bob Kilcollins Still in Business


By:  David Deschesne

Fort Fairfield Journal, January 17, 2018


   Twenty-four hours after the most devastating fire in recent town history destroyed his business location, Bob Kilcollins had set up shop in a temporary location he owns on Brown Street.

   The new shop is the former location of the Crown Ambulance auxiliary location which Kilcollins purchased in 2015 when Crown moved their operations into the Fort Fairfield Fire Department location.

   “We’re back up and operating at one hundred percent with full staff and full service,” said Kilcollins.  “We have two lifts and the vehicle inspection license has been transferred.”

   Kilcollins told the Fort Fairfield Journal that a contract was recently signed with Buck Construction to build a new building at the former Main Street location.  “I expect them to be breaking ground on March 1 with completion of the new building by May,” said Kilcollins.  “It will be an all modular building, the blueprints and plans are in the works now.”

   He said the new building will be one bay less, but will have double the capacity of the former shop since each bay will be two cars deep.  “We’ll be able to put two cars in each bay.  The front of each bay will be for the heavier work that will take several days to repair, while the back of the bay, near the overhead doors will be for the front-line in-and-out work like inspections and oil changes.”

   He also said the new shop will feature a modern waiting room complete with Wi-Fi capability.

   Kilcollins has been working in the auto repair business in Fort Fairfield for nearly 40 years.  He said his first location was the Gulf station at the foot of the bridge in Fort Fairfield, which he opened in 1983 and eventually converted to an Irving.  “That was the first Irving station in the United States at the time.”

   After nearly ten years he moved to Gary Giggey’s former shop on Riverside Avenue but lost that location in the Great Flood of 1994.  “This isn’t the first time I’ve had to start over from nothing,” said Kilcollins.  “I lost it all in 1994 but stayed with it and built myself back up.”

   After losing the Riverside Avenue location, he rented some space in the former Northeast Motors location, which is where Rite Aid sits today.  He then acquired the Petersons Motor Mart building on Main Street and operated his business there until the building burned down last month.

   The temporary shop he is in now, on Brown Street, was used as a small engine shop for motor sports and as a private shop for himself.

   The blaze that leveled Bob’s former building was battled by thirty firefighters from four other surrounding towns assisting Fort Fairfield.  The fire started around 3:15pm on December 31 and the firefighters had to battle the blaze in sub-zero temperatures.  Nobody was injured and neither of the surrounding buildings were lost in the fire, though the apartment complex immediately abutting Kilcollins’ shop did sustain some significant cosmetic damage and several broken windows.

   “I want to apologize to the community and also give thanks for their overwhelming support,” said Kilcollins.  “The fire departments and first responders in the area are some of the best around and if anyone says any different, they don’t know what they’re talking about.”

   If all goes according to plan, Kilcollins expects to be in his newly rebuilt location in late May or early April.