Commonwealth Coach & Trolley continues fundraiser after donations stall

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) Demolition crews tore apart the burnt wreckage of the Commonwealth Coach and Trolley Museum's once-prized, collection, weeks after a fire destroyed the buses and storage unit.

Even as the buses are hauled off, museum president Bev Fitzpatrick finds a positive light in the smoke-damaged ruins.

"We are well underway of getting control back on over where things are and getting them secured," Fitzpatrick said.

The crews are splitting apart what they can by hand, and using massive machines to demo the rest.

"Just looking at it right now, I feel relieved that we are getting to the point where we can start to rebuild it," Lawrence Meiss, General Manager of Maintenance, said. "It's like a milestone that we're getting ready to start back up."

The museum was able to save some of their buses from the fire. Some don't right now, but with a little work and some money, staff members say the vehicles could get back out on the road.

"We can't use them to help nonprofits until we replace all the windows, until we paint the sides, and one particular bus -- which is one of our best -- lost its windshield in the front," Fitzpatrick said. "It's a 1991 so we don't know if we can find a replacement."

The museum's GoFund Me page has stalled around $1,200 dollars, with another $5,000-6,000 donated through other means. But even the combined amount falls far short of their $50K goal.

Fitzpatrick says he's personally seen people dig deep to help, and he hopes others will too.

"There are some great people in the world," Fitzpatrick said adding with a laugh, "We just hope there are a whole lot more of them out there, but we just haven't gotten the check yet."

To donate to the museum's fundraiser, click here.