Veterans among those who lost business in Midway-area fire

Midway-area fire consumes Hot Rod repair shop

SAN DIEGO - Cleanup efforts are already under way at the businesses along Hancock Street that were destroyed by fire on Sunday night.

One of those businesses was started by three local veterans just a few months ago. They say they had no insurance and lost everything.

"There wasn't really anything savable," said James Pace, the co-owner of Hot Rod Rescue.

Pace, a disabled veteran, lost his car repair business overnight in the dramatic fire near the Midway district that could be seen for miles.

"We had two cars ready for sale," Pace told 10News. "That would be our seed money.  We had put in the last four months everything we had into this shop… all of our spare money, which isn't much. Two of us are living off our VA pensions."

In a two-story building next to his shop, scattered marijuana leaves were all that was left behind. 10News received a close-up look at glass that was broken out of doors and windows.

The entire marijuana co-op was stripped. The attorney for the co-op says the marijuana was legally grown. It was brought out onto the driveway below the building and taken away overnight.

10News found that according to City of San Diego law, for every 64 square feet of indoor space, co-ops can have one pound of marijuana and 24 plants.

Last year, the San Diego City Council approved that co-ops can operate in light industrial and commercial areas of the city, which are similar to where the Midway area fire burned Sunday night.

"I'm just glad nobody got hurt," Pace said.

He said he remains optimistic despite the charred classic cars, tools and equipment at his business that he lost.

"We'll just start again," he added. "I mean, the heart didn't get burned up."

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