Fire tore through several businesses in three neighboring commercial buildings in Rochester, with several luxury automobiles among the lost property.
Calls to 911 started coming in shortly before 11 p.m. Friday, but fire officials believe the blaze already had been burning for some time in the 500 block of 6th Avenue NW., said Deputy Fire Chief Steven Belau.
The fire prompted a partial roof collapse, making it “too dangerous [for firefighters] to fight the fire from the inside,” Belau said.
Belau said there were no fire alarms or sprinklers in the buildings, which housed a handful of businesses, including Werkstatt European Auto Service.
Preliminary damage estimate for the buildings and the contents was expected to top $700,000, with the luxury cars accounting for a significant portion of that total.
Gasoline and tires provided significant fuel for the fire. Firefighters stayed on the scene well into the next day to keep hot spots from reigniting the fire in earnest.