MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - An explosion and fire destroyed an automotive shop at 40th Avenue N. and Fremont Avenue N. in Minneapolis late Wednesday morning. The Minneapolis Fire Chief said the shop’s owner had a car up on an elevated lift when a fuel leak ignited.
The Fremont Automotive Service shop is tucked into a residential neighborhood. Lynn Heying said her house literally rattled from the explosion at the shop just a few feet away.
“I went downstairs, looked out my side window and went, holy s---! The place is on fire,” Heying said. “I ran back upstairs, grabbed my coin purse and phone. I put on my boots and jacket and came outside.”
Minneapolis firefighters attacked the flames from the air and from the ground. One of their biggest worries was the 220 gallons of fuel stores on site.
Still seeing some flame in the roof at Freemont Auto Service. Business tucked into neighborhood at 40/Freemont N. pic.twitter.com/hBtSmk9PRZ— Paul Blume (@PaulBlume_FOX9) January 6, 2016
Chief wasn't kidding about the heat. Wow! Can hear small popping as cars, parts, building burn at 41st/Fremont N. pic.twitter.com/NOxKsLV6QK— Paul Blume (@PaulBlume_FOX9) January 6, 2016
Fire in a small auto body shop at 4053 Freemont Ave N. Fire was reported at about 10:40am. One person was transported with minor burns.— Minneapolis Fire (@MinneapolisFire) January 6, 2016
Imagine if you were one of the car owners who had their vehicles in the shop today... Several destroyed by flames. pic.twitter.com/1yEeDVHLE8— Paul Blume (@PaulBlume_FOX9) January 6, 2016
Heying is thankful that firefighters have been able to keep the flames away from her house, but all of the water used in their effort has flooded her basement. Firefighters brought in pumps to help her out.
With the body shop deemed a total loss early on, crews made the decision to allow the heat to vent before fully extinguishing the flames. The deputy chief said the garage owner, Tony Mixab, escaped with what appeared to be minor burns.