Cause of Columbia Station Blaze Determined

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COLUMBIA STATION, Ohio–A massive blaze that destroyed several businesses in Lorain County Saturday afternoon has been ruled accidental, the Columbia Township Fire Department confirmed Sunday.

Chief Ray Anthony told Fox 8 News the fire started in an auto repair shop at the rear of the complex at 27201 Royalton Road.

Ray said the problem began when a mechanic removed a gas tank from a car and unknowingly leaked fuel onto the floor. Then, as the worker used a cutting torch, sparks hit the ground and ignited the spilled gas. The employee tried using a fire extinguisher; but the effort backfired as the flames were pushed and spread.

Multiple fire departments were called in to assist the Columbia Township Fire Department after crews were stalled by a frozen fire hydrant. Water shuttles from several counties responded to fill up the fire trucks.

Ray said five businesses, including a machine-making shop and tree lumber company, sustained major damage. Insurance adjusters were expected to work with the business owners at the scene Sunday.

Stick with Fox 8 News and for updates on this story as they become available.

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