NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WGGB) — A fire in Northampton causes a half-million dollars in damage and sends one firefighter to the hospital.
Now investigators are trying to figure out exactly how the blaze started.
The owner of Highway Auto Salvage body shop in Northampton says it started out like any other business day.
One of his employees was processing a vehicle on a lift, when something sparked.
“Ted, our manager, was inside processing the car, checking the gas tanks and stuff that have to come out and a spark landed on some wood palet that had oil soaked into it and the fire started,” says Edward Amo, the shop’s owner.
Firefighters were immediatedly dispatched to the shop, which was quickly being eaten by flames.
“As crews rolled out the doors, they saw a large black column of smoke upon approach as they worked their way down King Street. Arriving on the scene, they found the building behind me about half involved in fire,” adds Northampton Fire Chief Brian Duggan.
Responders say the structure of the building and the materials inside, like flammable liquids and plastics, made the fire difficult to contain.
In fact, Amo says one of his employees attempted to put it out with fire extinguishers, which didn’t do much.
Eventually, though, firefighters were able to knock down the flames.
“Unfortunately, we did have one firefighter injured trying to get into that space. That firefighter has been transported to Cooley Dickinson Hospital and is under observation at this time,” Duggan says.
Firefighters were able to contain the fire by late morning. An investigation into what sparked the blaze is ongoing.
The Northampton fire chief says the firefighter’s injuries were minor.
The Red Cross has also sent four volunteers to the site to provide canteen services to the firefighters.