Auto shop

21 cars, auto shop damaged in dealership fire Fresno CA

Solar panels, 21 cars and about half the auto shop were damaged in an overnight fire at a car dealership in Fresno, firefighters said Thursday.

The fire started around 10 p.m. Wednesday at the Fresno Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership near Blackstone and Escalon Avenues, just north of Bullard Avenue.

Crews arrived and had difficulty reaching the auto shop due to the way the cars were positioned in the dealership parking lot, according to Jonathan Lopez, public information officer for the Fresno Fire Department. Firefighters called a tow truck but it was not used.

“They still managed to contain the damage in the store where they started,” Lopez said.

Officials did not provide an estimate of the cost of damage Thursday, but noted that the fire burned the roof of the auto shop, but no other buildings.

A night janitor heard a loud explosion and entered the repair shop, where he saw a van on fire, officials said. Lopez said the fire appeared to be an accident and the store showed no signs of being broken into.

No injuries were reported, Lopez said.

This story was originally published November 11, 2021 12:28 p.m.

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Journalist Thaddeus Miller has covered towns in the Central San Joaquin Valley since 2010, writing about everything from breaking news to government and police accountability. Originally from Fresno, he joined The Fresno Bee in 2019 after spending time in Merced and Los Banos.