Investigators determine auto shop fire started by appliance

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – Crews were called to battle a commercial fire in Portsmouth Tuesday morning.

Portsmouth Fire and Rescue responded to a call at 7:42 a.m. in the 1700 block of Airline Boulevard.

Images and video from the scene showed flames coming from the NAPA Auto Care Center on Airline Boulevard.

Nearly 40 firefighters responded. They tried to attack the fire from the interior, but were pushed back due to high heat and poor visibility, according to Portsmouth Fire and Rescue.

WAVY’s Kiahnna Patterson was on the scene and spoke to a friend of the business owner, who said the owner was at the shop when the fire broke out, but was not inside. Charlotte Hill said there was no one inside when the fire started. She said she was impressed with how quickly firefighter responded.

“We have maybe like one, two, three, we have like four fire trucks out here and I give the firefighters thumbs up because they are really doing their job and they are really watching it and they are really staying on it,” said Hill.

There were no injuries to citizens or firefighters reported.

A preliminary investigation revealed a short in an appliance placed near flammable materials started the fire.

Crews remain on scene monitoring hot spots.

Stay with WAVY News 10 on air and online for updates.

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