MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Thick clouds of smoke billowed out of the Firestone Auto Shop on Madison early Tuesday morning as flames shot through the roof.
The incident happened just before 5 a.m. Tuesday.
“Saw the police cars blocking off the road, and, yeah, a big fire right behind us,” said Debbie Eynon.
Visiting the Bluff City from New Zealand, Eynon said she woke up to the sounds of sirens, and then watched from her hotel room as fire crews worked to bring the fire under control.
Investigators told WREG’s Luke Jones the fire started from an electrical problem in one of the 11 cars that were being stored inside the building, then quickly spread.
“All have sustained some sort of damage: fire, smoke or water damage,” Lt. Wayne Cooke with the Memphis Fire Department said.
Charred vehicles, bits and fragments of the building, and a grease slick in the parking lot are all that remains from the devastating blaze.
“I just feel sorry for the people that have got — you know, it`s a business and local business, and people`s cars are in there damaged.”
Cars that came for complete auto care and now likely a complete loss.
The Fire Department said the fire caused a total of $250,000 in damage including $100,000 worth in damage to the building and $88,000 to 11 vehicles.