Fire destroys auto shop in Fresno County

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Firefighters battled a dangerous blaze at an auto shop in Fresno County on Saturday. Flames and thick black smoke were seen on Elm Avenue near Central Avenue just after 9 a.m.

Cal Fire crews arrived to find the shop and the vehicles inside of it fully engulfed in flames. The fire was also threatening a nearby house and mobile home.

Firefighters faced several challenges. They say small explosions were going off from the car tires or possibly flammable liquid containers, and they had to be careful because of a downed power line.

"A portion of the fire we had to back off and wait for PG&E to arrive to secure the power [and] make it safe for the firefighters to go in and put out the fire," said Battalion Chief Mark Watkins with Cal Fire Fresno County.

Crews managed to protect the nearby house and mobile home, but the auto shop is a complete loss. There's word yet on the dollar amount of the damage or the cause of the fire.
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