Car Fire Damages Escondido Businesses

By Mari Payton and Joseph M.D. Young
|  Saturday, Apr 30, 2011  |  Updated 2:43 PM PDT
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A fire inside an Escondido auto repair shop damaged several nearby businesses Friday night. Fire crews on the scene believed a spark from a welding machine may have started the fire.  Mari Payton reports.

A fire inside an Escondido auto repair shop damaged several nearby businesses Friday night. Fire crews on the scene believed a spark from a welding machine may have started the fire. Mari Payton reports.

A fire inside an Escondido auto repair shop damaged several nearby businesses Friday night. Fire crews on the scene believed a spark from a welding machine may have started the fire.

Around 7:47 p.m., the Escondido fire unit responded to a report of a blaze at 740 Metcalf St #26 in an Escondido and found black smoke and flames coming from the back door and roof of the building.

A man, a woman and her four-month-old baby were inside when the fire broke out. They were all able to get out safely.

The two-alarm fire started inside a car and caused at least $250,000 worth of damages to three businesses, according to Fire Department Battalion Chief Herb Griffin.

Employees of the repair shop tried to put out the flames before calling 911, but were unsuccessful, he said

At one point, firefighters were concerned the building’s roof might collapse.

“Because of the amount of exposure on the roof, and the damage to the roof, we thought it was unsafe to go in there,” Griffin said.

The fire ravaged the repair shop, damaging four additional cars inside the building and three neighboring businesses.

No injuries were reported.

Even though crews on the scene said a welding machine may have started the fire, the official release from the Escondido Fire Department lists the cause as undetermined.

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