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Explosion at Columbus Auto Parts Facility Injures Three

By COLUMBUS DIVISION OF FIRE, Correspondent | September 15, 2020 | OHIO

Story No. 102220104

Columbus, OH - One person was hospitalized and two others were treated at the scene after an explosion and fire erupted at the Universal Auto Parts facility at 1061 McKinley Avenue at about 4:26 P.M. on Tuesday, September 15th.

Smoke from the two-alarm blaze could be seen from downtown as about a dozen Columbus Fire engine, ladder and medic units converged into an area of sprawling auto recycling, warehouses and small businesses operating on the city’s near west-side just north of West Broad Street. Grandview Heights Fire Department also responded to the scene where a smoldering roof kept firefighters on hand into the evening.

Fire investigators were on the scene interviewing witnesses and employees as ladder company platforms extended over a wooden bow string truss roof which arches over the large cinder block auto shop where the fire appeared to originate. The roof design is notable for its tendency to collapse as the trusses fail as they burn, prompting fire commanders to attack the fire from the exterior of the building to keep crews safe.

Division fire investigations determined that an employee operating a welder likely ignited fumes seeping from a nearby automobile gasoline tank inside the building.

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.