San Diego

Man With Fire Extinguisher Saves Auto Shops from Fire Damage

An employee raced into action to try and put out a fire that sparked between two mechanic shops in El Cajon.

The man can be seen on a witness’s cell phone video trying to spray the fire with a fire extinguisher and save thousands of dollars in customer cars waiting for repairs.

Flames and thick black smoke filled the small breezeway between the Executive Auto and another shop next door.

"The fire was so close to the cars I was afraid it would spread out to the property and the vehicles,” Executive Auto employee Cathy Brown said. It was her phone that caught machinist Fredrick McMahon triying to keep it under control with a fire extinguisher.

"Little hot, just stayed behind the brick wall, worked my way around try to suffocate it from top to bottom,” McMahon said.

Heartland Fire Department crews responded to the fire minutes after taking care of a brush fire that sparked on a hillside along Interstate 8.

Despite two close calls, there were no injuries reported. Power was lost at the auto shop but there was little property damage.

Both shops are expected to reopen Tuesday for regular business hours.

No other information was available.

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