Siegfried's motors fire destroyed shop and foreign cars

FRESNO, Calif.

Around 8-pm Thursday night fire crews were called out to Blackstone and Escalon after smoke was seen escaping from "Siegfried's motors."

Investigators say it's an accidental fire started by an electrical circuit in an old car. The damage is estimated at nearly half a million dollars. We spoke with one owner whose Porsche was at the shop for a tune up.

The number 162 on these vanity plates represents the top speed of Sean Fulop's silver 1987 Porsche 928. This is his car. Thursday night a fire made sure it would never reach high speeds again.

Fulop: "Imagine my surprise when I get here and turn around and I can't even believe what I'm seeing. I can't even believe that we're doing this right now ... this interview. It's like I'm in some bizarre nightmare."

This Fresno State linguistics professor does not have insurance to cover the loss. He bought the car three weeks ago and was waiting for an appraisal. That is why it was getting a tune up at Siegfried's Motors ... A shop that specializes in German engineering. To make matters worse Fulop never had a chance to drive it.

"Immaculate black leather interior. And impossible to replace or find a car like that," Fulop added.

Eleven cars and one bike were damaged. No one was hurt. This video captured by an Action News viewer shows the fire at its peak. A simple car wash was needed for some of the vehicles, but at least four were a total loss.

"I feel bad for my customers. I mean some of these cars are really nice vehicles," said Michael Riedelsheimer.

Riedelsheimer's father opened this specialty shop in 1969. He said insurance should cover his customers and business.

Riedelsheimer: "They're stepping in. they're covering everything. They'll be redoing the building. So we should be up and better than before."

Riedelsheimer hopes to open a temporary shop across the street by next week. The plan is to have this shop rebuilt in six months.

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