Automotive & Aftermarket News

April Showers Bring May Flowers and Fiery Vehicle Destruction

613 Automotive Fire
A fire at 613 Automotive in Ellenville, NY, claimed dozens of modern classic Chevrolet vehicles. (Image/The Drive)

Thus far, the month of May has not been kind to classic vehicles. In fact it’s been downright cruel, sending hundreds of vintage and modern classic cars into oblivion in two separate blazes that resulted in tens of millions of dollars in damage.

The mayhem began early Wednesday afternoon at a vehicle storage and repair facility near Pittsburgh, PA, when a motorcycle reportedly undergoing repairs caught fire and ignited nearby materials. According to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, approximately 200 antique and classic cars and motorcycles were destroyed in the seven-alarm blaze. The destroyed vehicles in that fire alone are estimated to be worth $60 million.

Etna Warehouse Fire
Roughly 200 vehicles were lost in a warehouse fire in Etna, PA. (Image/Tribune-Review)

Three firefighters sustained minor injuries fighting the fire, which claimed a 1920s-era Bugatti car, an Alfa Romeo SZ, a C4 Corvette, and a 1997 Bentley Continental T owned by Ross Godber of Victory Garage, according to various local media outlets. In an interview with Tribune-Review, Godber, who was working on his Bentley when the fire occurred, said he felt “lucky to be alive.”

The building, which is owned by STORExpress, housed vehicles owned by several businesses and individuals, several local media outlets reported. In the wake of the fire, company representatives said they hope to rebuild the facility and continue operation.

Early Thursday morning and about 400 miles away in Ellenville, NY, a fiery blaze at 613 Automotive consumed more than two dozen 90s-era Chevy vehicles—among them, several Corvettes and Camaros. Responders from 15 local fire departments worked to put out the fire at the dealership, which was being used as a film set for the upcoming HBO mini-series based on the novel “I Know This Much is True” by Wally Lam.

According to an article from The Drive, the majority of the vehicles destroyed in the fire were supplied by a company owned by Jamie Kitman, New York bureau chief of Automobile Magazine. The publication reported that the number of total vehicle losses remains unknown, but estimates exceed 50. Vehicles reportedly lost include a C1500, 454 SS pickup truck, and a Chevy Beretta Indy pace car.

A video showing flames engulfing the dealership appeared online Thursday:

No injuries were reported, but families in several nearby homes were displaced as a result, The Drive reported. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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  1. Pingback: Stuff from D. May 13th, 2019 – Darryl's Drive In

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