Space heater causes explosion, fire at Raleigh auto shop

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A fire tore through a Raleigh auto shop Tuesday afternoon near the intersection of Poole Road and Angier Avenue.

(CBS North Carolina)
Click here for more photos from the scene.

Raleigh fire officials said two or three people were in Safari Automotive when the fire broke out but made it out.

Safari Automotive co-owner George Mburu said he was stunned to see the damage when he arrived on scene.

“I can’t believe it. Been here almost 20 years. And, everything has been OK,” Mburu said.

Mburu said two of his dogs were in the business but only one has been found safe.

The sounds of explosions heard by neighbors were tires burning, officials said.

“They were working on cars in the garage when it initially happened and there was a bystander on scene that initially tried to put the fire out. But, at this time we’re still trying to figure out where the fire was,” said Battalion Chief David Whitley.

No injuries were reported.

Raleigh Fire officials said the fire and explosion was accidental and was caused by fumes from a fuel tank or can that came close too a kerosene space heater.

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