Fire causes about $2.5 million in damages at Capital RV in Bismarck

BISMARCK, N.D. - Fire broke out yesterday at Capital RV in northeast Bismarck around 8 a.m. and lasted several hours before the fire department put out the blaze.

Initial estimates put losses at about $2.5 million, but after surveying the site owner Bruce Bentz thinks it will be at least double that.

"This whole end of the building is totaled out for sure," said Bruce Bentz, owner of Capital RV.

Clean up has started at Capital RV in Bismarck. Sunday's fire destroyed the south end of the building.

"Lot of fire, lot of smoke and they went and the strategy was to confine the fire to the workshop and keep it out of the show room," said Rob Carlson, Battalion Chief Bismarck Fire Department.

Owner Bruce Bentz says it's a hardship, but he's not closing his doors.

"Been here 25 years, got real good insurance. That's why you have it, something like this happens," said Bentz.

While Bentz thinks the service center and the RV's inside it are a total loss, he says they're lucky damage wasn't much worse.

The service center was filled with propane tanks like this one. One of the main concerns once the fire was contained was putting it out before an explosion occurred.

"They can explode, you get what they call a bleve," said Carlson.

Capital RV is in the middle of their peak selling season. Bentz says without a doubt this fire will hit them hard.

"You know we got business interruption, I don't know how much we can salvage or what we can do but we're prepared for it," said Bentz.

The consummate salesman, Bentz knows how to spin anything into a good pitch.

"So we're going to have some hot deals. What a pun, here we go," said Bentz.

Bentz hopes if clean up goes as planned, he can be open and talking to customers about his sizzling sales by Wednesday.

Bismarck Fire said no cause of the fire has been determined, but the investigation was still ongoing.