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Hazlet Buhler Car Dealership Demolished After Fire Saturday

The busy dealership/service center that employed 40 people is now a pile of charred rubble. The owners say they will rebuild.

In less than a day, the busy where new and used cars have been bought and serviced for nearly 50 years was reduced to blackened metal, broken bricks, shattered glass and melted car parts.

An early morning fire on Saturday caused so much damage that the building was considered a total loss, said Darren Buhler in the parking lot on Saturday night.

Although it is believed the fire began in the service area of the building, an official cause for the fire has not yet been determined. It is under investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor's office.

About 40 people work for Buhler at the Hazlet location. They also have an auto dealership in Eatontown. On Sunday morning, employees at the fire scene were busily matching keys rescued from the building with new vehicles parked on the dealership's lot. Car horns sounded from every corner of the site as workers carried keys around the lot and pressed buttons to locate the vehicles for each set.

The family-owned business has been a landmark for 40 years near the corner of Holmdel Road and Route 35 South, and has been a supporter of community organizatons in the Bayshore area.

Buhler runs the firm with his brother-in-law Garry Foltz. He said the company was first started by his great grandfather and grand-uncle in Keyport.

Christina Garrity May 27, 2012 at 05:58 PM
It was a great for all. I even had fun. Lol. 4x4 community coming together as one. Buhler has given so much to others it was our turn to give back to them. Want to thank Jeff fraley, Daniel Garrity, Christine Garrity, even our 6 yr old son Leland. Naz, Joey petito from central jersey off road and recovery for coming out and lending a hand. May the future of buhler jeep and chrylser grow bigger and better.
Fred Tuccillo May 27, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Ms. Garrity-- Just to clarify, you're referring to the Sunday morning effort to help Buhler employees match new car keys to inventory vehicles on their lot? Customers and/or off-road enthusiasts came out to help with that? We'd be happy to have more details on how that was organized, if you would like to post further.
Christina Garrity May 29, 2012 at 01:38 PM
yes referring to sundays efforts my offroad club Central Jersey Offroad & Recovery was there to lend a hand to jeff fraley and buhler dealership to sortting out car keys. We are just a bunch of friends that just started our group and love to go off roading and playing in the mud with our 4x4 vehicles.It was nothing really more like last min, and we told jeff fraley if buhler or him need any help in any way we are there for them. so jeff and i came up with the plan to go it there to put mast message out to those of the 4x4 community to come out and help a local business that has been around for over 50 yrs that also has given back to the community, why cant we give back to them. There was customers i believe the 4x4 group and employees just getting in there and helping the best we can. we helped moved cars from one lot to another, matching keys, the cars closest to the burned building we drove over to car wash to get them cleaned up, and have them ready for future buyers. everyone saw rubble we saw the future.
Ed Brown May 29, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Thank you to everyone that helped out. we are still here for our customers so come on down!

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