Cause of Columbia Station Blaze Determined

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

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 FOX8.com for updates on this story as they become available.