Fire, explosion at Minneapolis auto shop after fuel leak

- 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.

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.

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