Unfortunately for Dan MacKay, it was a sight all too familiar.
The senior consultant at A-1 Flooring said it had been two years since a vehicle last crashed into the Clark St. business — that is, until Wednesday morning.
Niagara Regional Police responded to an alarm call at the longtime Welland business at 3:42 a.m.
Officers arrived on scene to find a vehicle, engulfed in flames, that had crashed into the building’s main entrance, shattering glass and narrowly missing the exterior walls, said NRP spokesman Const. Derek Watson.
It was later determined the vehicle, a 2000 two-door silver Chevrolet Cavalier, was stolen from a Barrick Rd. home in Port Colborne shortly before the incident occurred, he said.
No one was in the vehicle when police arrived. The NRP’s canine unit also attended the scene, but was unable to locate a suspect.
“It just went right through the door,” employee Michele Disher said while glancing over at the gaping hole where the vehicle was removed earlier Wednesday.
She credited police and firefighters for getting to the scene so quickly after the collision occurred.
Despite the damage, estimated by police at about $7,000, MacKay said it’s “business as usual” at the store.
A crew from Miller Restoration was on site cleaning up debris and a temporary entrance was created through another doorway to allow customers and contractors access.
“They’re just starting to put the pieces together and making sure the area is secure,” MacKay said.
The business will remain open through the repairs and investigation.
It wasn’t long ago that A-1 Flooring underwent a complete renovation, with a grand re-opening of the business held in April.
Two years ago the building was also struck by a vehicle, but in a different location.
“It’s unfortunate that it occurred after the renovation, but especially that it happened again,” MacKay said.
He couldn’t help but feel the incident may have happened intentionally.
There were signs of forced entry at a different doorway, he said, leading staff to believe someone was trying to break into the building.
It doesn’t appear that anything was taken, he added.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Niagara Regional Police at 905-735-7811.