Fire causes $60,000 damage at Tonawanda auto shop

The Buffalo News

11/19/08 08:48 AM
Fire causes $60,000 damage at Tonawanda auto shop

City of Tonawanda fire officials suspect that a faulty waste-oil furnace may have sparked a fire that left $60,000 damage to an auto-repair facility on Young Street early this morning.

Firefighters from the City of Tonawanda responded to a 3:16 a.m. alarm at Mike Barry Motors, 147 Young St., after a passer-by spotted the blaze. Fire officials called for mutual aid, leading Brighton firefighters to join the City of Tonawanda at the scene.

The fire, which started in the maintenance area of the one-story concrete-block building, left an estimated $60,000 damage.

CITY OF TONAWANDA: Fire damages auto shop

Staff Reports
The Tonawanda News

A Wednesday morning fire caused approximately $60,000 damage to an auto repair shop on Young Street, City of Tonawanda fire officials reported.

Firefighters received a call of a fire at Mike Barry Motors, 147 Young St., at 3:16 a.m., when a motorist saw the fire and called it in, said Tonawanda Fire Chief Charles Stuart.

A lot of fire and smoke was present when firefighters arrived, Stuart said. “The guys broke in through a garage door and knocked it down pretty quickly,” he added.

Fire crews had the scene cleaned up after about two hours.

Fire officials suspect that the cause of the fire was an oil-burning heating unit that malfunctioned. The shop owner told firefighters he left the unit running overnight because of the cold temperature, Stuart said.

The heating unit was close to the ceiling and fire investigators believe the unit’s blower malfunctioned, causing it to overheat.

“They burn waste oil. It’s actually a good way to save money and heat the business, but in this case it didn’t work out so well,” Stuart said, adding that anyone who buys heating units should make sure they come with automatic shutoff or some other safety feature.

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Comment by BillySFCVFD on November 20, 2008 at 9:41am
"Yesterday I couldn't even spell mechanic, today I are one". Lack of common sense caused the fire not the "left on" heater. TCSS

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