PERRY, Ohio (WJW) — A fire at a used car dealership that totally destroyed several vehicles was started by a downed high-voltage power line, firefighters said.
Perry Joint Fire District responded to a fire alarm at Saunders Motor Company, 3904 N. Ridge Road, just before 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 6, according to a news release posted to the department’s Facebook page.
The first firefighters on scene found a downed power line, arcing and laying on top of a flaming car, according to the release. Firefighters believe it was knocked down by a tree branch that had become lodged, Capt. Tim Sitz told FOX 8 News.
“When the line snapped, it went down onto the car, which started the rest of the cars on fire,” he said.
Firefighters determined the line was part of a three-phase high-voltage system and decided not to spray water until it could be “rendered safe,” reads the release.
“When you start dealing with higher phases, we tend to back off and be a little more reserved with it,” Sitz said. “It’s much more high-voltage than what you would find in a house fire.”
But Illuminating Company crews were dealing with other downed power lines in the area, and didn’t arrive until about an hour later, according to the release.
Crews closed North Ridge Road in both directions, to get to the fire hydrant across the street. County sheriff’s deputies directed traffic toward Parmly and Center roads.
Firefighters had the blaze under control by 6 p.m. Six cars were damaged — five of which are a complete loss and the sixth may be totaled, Sitz said — as well as the utility pole.
Power service was restored and the road was reopened just after 7 p.m.