August 22, 2014 10:36:45 AM
WEST POINT -- A fire destroyed the Mitchell Automotive service center Thursday night after a car inside caught on fire.
The incident occurred around 7:45 p.m. when the electrical wiring in a Chevrolet Equinox started the blaze. After it caught fire, a gas line directly above it ignited. Then the building went up in flames, according to Ben Thomas, dealer operations manager.
The West Point Fire Department responded and extinguished the blaze in approximately 30 minutes, Thomas said.
No injuries were reported.
The Equinox had been brought to Mitchell by an insurance company after it was struck by lightning and began experiencing electrical issues. Thomas described the incident as a "freak accident."
Nine other vehicles parked inside the garage sustained smoke damage. The Equinox was the only vehicle destroyed, Thomas said.
The service center was the only portion of the dealership that sustained damaged. Construction work will take place in coming weeks to replace the support beams at the back of the shop.
The dealership is open for business as usual, Thomas said.
Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.
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