Sparks from a cutting torch that ignited gasoline vapors is being blamed as the cause of a fire Tuesday morning in an east side auto detail shop, the Madison Fire Department reported.

The fire, in a multi-tenant commercial building at 4914 Pflaum Road, caused an estimated $250,000 in damage, according to a Fire Department news release.

One of the tenants in the building is American Auto Detail LLC.

Fire investigators said a worker was cutting metal with the torch inside the building.

"Sparks from the cutting operation ignited gasoline vapors in the area," Fire Department spokesman Eric Dahl said in the release. "Flames quickly spread to a car and other nearby combustibles."

The initial report to the fire department was that a car was on fire inside the building.

"The first units to arrive confirmed everyone was out of the building and there was heavy black smoke inside the auto detail shop," Dahl said.

Firefighters used a saw to cut a hole in the overhead garage door, allowing access to the inside, and also cut a hole in the roof to release heat and smoke from the building.

"The fire spread to a large amount of tires that were stored above an office area in the building," Dahl said. "Firefighters had to pull the tires off of the office and remove them from the building to complete extinguishing the fire."

Damage was mostly confined to the unit where the fire started, but minor damage was reported in other businesses in the commercial building.

"Paramedics checked out two people at the scene but nobody had to be transported to a hospital," Dahl said.

Pflaum Road was shut down between Daniels Street and Mustang Way because hose lines were crossing the road.


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