LA PINE, OR -- Fire destroyed a storage shed for Paulina Snowmobile Rentals, Thursday, crippling the small business. The owner believes the blaze was intentionally set, "There was nothing flammable, there was no electricity," Jay Chappell tells KBND News, "There's evidence of, somebody was trying to break in. Looks like an ax to the door,".
Chappell says he used the small building to store safety gear for clients, "I had 50 helmets, probably 20 pairs of overalls, goggles, I mean everything, boots, to make your adventure awesome." But now, that's all gone. "All my helmets, all my gear, all my stuff for all my rentals, that I give to people to wear for the rentals. So at this point, I have no gear; I have nothing."
He says he's lucky his snowmobiles were stored elsewhere. However, he can't rent them out without protective gear. Chappell says it's devastating at what should be the start of his busy season, "It's just now hitting where I should be making money and now I'm taking this hit and it's really hard, you know? I'm a father, I've got three kids and a beautiful wife. We've worked our asses off to make this, and this happens."
Chappell says the police are investigating, and even though the incident occurred at night, he hopes someone saw something, and will say something. "We've put together a $1,000 reward for any information that leads to figuring this out." He says, "This is my livelihood; I put all my everything into it. It's my passion to ride the snowmobiles." If he can partner with another business to provide gear for his clients, he may be able to stay in business.