AMBLER, Pa. (CBS) — A fire at Ebner’s Auto Inc. on South Main Street in Ambler took crews more than four hours to bring under control on Thursday. The fire disrupted regional rail service and forced some people to evacuate.
People were working inside the body shop when it caught fire. They say they feel like they cheated death
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“It was very scary,” said Maggie Cupitt, Ebner’s officer manager. “I’m glad everyone was able to get out.”
The fire engulfed Ebner Thursday morning.
“I didn’t think it would be that big, to be honest with you,” said Ebner mechanic Carlos Lewis.
Lewis said he and store owner Tim Ebner were working on a car when the fire broke out. He said he was alerted by another employee
“He says, ‘The inside of the car is on fire,'” Lewis said. “So as we step back – it all happened so fast. But as soon as he said that, the car fell.
“The car fell off the elevator and it went crazy,” Cupitt said.
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It started a massive three-alarm fire. A shared services agreement brought fire crews from 20 towns in eastern Montgomery County.
“I looked over and this place was engulfed in flames,” said business owner Mark Elliot. “Black smoke billowing out.”
It took more than four hours for crews to declare the fire under control. To preserve water pressure for the city, they deployed the Large Diameter Pipe Strike Team.
“We’re coming out of Wissahickon Creek here, probably about two thousand feet,” said Chief Jay Leadbeater of the Wissahickon Fire Department.
Leadbeater said he has used this technique in other fires. No one was seriously injured.
The Department of Environmental Protection is on the scene to ensure chemicals from the body shop do not enter waterways.
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The investigation into the fire is continuing – and no cause has been formally charged.