Spontaneous combustion sparks fire in car dealership garage

·1 min read

Jun. 14—CUMBERLAND — Spontaneous combustion of oily rags in a plastic bucket caused a fire in a detailing garage at Queen City Motors just before dawn Tuesday, resulting in damage to the structure and two vehicles, Cumberland Fire Chief W. Shannon Adams said.

"We actually were able to observe smoke coming from the bucket at about 10 p.m. last night before it erupted in flames this morning," Adams said after reviewing video surveillance at the business.

Adams said city firefighters quickly knocked down the fire that originated in a rear area of the structure at 99 Henderson Ave. One of the vehicles damaged was a GMC Arcadia.

He said heat from the fire activated the controls and raised the building's garage doors, aiding efforts to extinguish the fire.

"We actually have that shown by the cameras as well," Adams said.

The fire was confined to the garage and damage to the building and vehicles was estimated at about $100,000, Adams said.

Fire, heat, smoke and water damage occurred to the building and smoke damage resulted to an office. Efforts were underway to return the building to full operation.

Alerted mutual aid companies were canceled by the Allegany County 911 Center after city firefighters reported the fire extinguished just minutes after arriving at the scene, according to Roger Bennett, deputy director of the county's Department of Emergency Services.

Jeff Alderton is a veteran Cumberland Times-News police reporter. To reach him, call/text 304-639-6888, email jlalderton@times-news.com and follow him on Twitter.