PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) – More than 25 firefighters went to help put out a three-alarm fire at a body shop in Ambler Borough on Thursday morning and afternoon.
“When you call in that many resources, it’s considered a major fire,” said Wissahickon Fire Company chief Jay Leadbeater. The fire engulfed several vehicles inside Ebner’s Auto before being brought under control before 3 p.m.
The business owner has been hospitalized, but is expected to recover physically.
Video courtesy CNB10.
The fire occurred around 10 a.m. in the body shop, located at S. Main Street and Butler Pike near Ambler SEPTA station. Motorists were urged to avoid the area.
Fire companies throughout Montgomery County responded because the fire was in a densely populated area surrounded by buildings.
Some residents of the neighborhood were evacuated. Neighboring buildings, including a grocery store, suffered water damage.
Leadbeater said in six years it was the biggest fire he had ever seen.
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photo creditKYW Traffic Center
Firefighters, mostly from volunteer fire companies, spent about five hours battling the blaze before bringing it under control.
Leadbeater said firefighters’ first concern was trying to put out the fire inside the building, but within half an hour the flames grew so large they had to go into defensive mode.
“It’s a command decision,” he said. “Everyone out. Property damage, who cares? All the trucks operating on the scene are sounding their horns, so if someone’s out there fighting the fires, they know the decision has been made. taken out.”
Photo creditHadas Kuznits/KYW Newsradio
He added that fire crews wanted to pay special attention to putting out the fire because of what was in the building.
“It’s the body shop, and everything that was in there, the cars, the paints, the lubricants, all that stuff, we want to make sure we don’t have to come back,” Leadbeater said.
Authorities extended the closure of Butler Avenue from Spring Garden Street to Morris Road as additional crews had hoses stretched across the street to draw water from nearby Wissahickon Creek to avoid further pressure on the supply in water.
Regional rail service on SEPTA’s Lansdale/Doylestown line has been suspended between Fort Washington and Doylestown. At around 2:30 p.m., firefighters moved the equipment off the tracks so the line could resume service, which it did at around 2:40 p.m.
Investigators will investigate the cause of the fire.