Car catches fire during repairs at Wolcott auto shop - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Car catches fire during repairs at Wolcott auto shop

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(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)
(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)
WOLCOTT, CT (WFSB) -

A car exploded while it was being worked on and destroyed a repair shop in Wolcott.

It happened Thursday at Jerry's Auto Care Center on Wolcott Road.

"He just went to start the vehicle and it blew up," said John Chasse, the building's owner.

Chasse said that was all it took to destroy decades of his work.

"It's disappointing and you know I was getting ready to retire, but that's not the way to retire," he said.

Chasse said he rents out space in the building to Jerry's Auto.

He said Thursday started as the most mundane of mornings because two workers were there just fixing a car.

"One of the vehicles in the mechanic's shop, they tried to start it," Chasse said. "It backfired and it exploded."

Workers initially tried to douse the flames with a fire extinguisher. However, the flames weren't fazed.

"It just couldn't," said Mayor Thomas Dunn of Wolcott. "It just ignited the whole building."

Firefighters reported heavy flames coming from the building.

It was raised to a second alarm and mutual aid was requested.

Worry spread to Raymond's Lumber next door.

"Right along the fence line, there's some lumber and shingles and stuff like that," said Robert Desrosiers, a neighbor.

There's no word on exactly what sparked the fire.

No one was hurt.

Chasse said after being part of the town's fabric for years, he knew it would be there for him.

"Everyone helps each other," Desrosiers said. "That's the key to a small town."

"My phone is hot, hotter than the building," Chasse said.

Chasse said he is still trying to determine what can be salvaged. He did tell Eyewitness News that he intends to rebuild.

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