Quick response to auto shop fire may have prevented worse problems

CarX was full of oil, gas tanks, manager says

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – A fire at a North Side car repair shop had the potential to become an explosive situation.

CarX, located in the 11800 block of West Avenue, had vehicles with gasoline in their tanks inside the business which could have caught fire and exploded, according to fleet manager Phil Urbina.

“It looked very alarming. My parking lot was full of smoke and fire trucks at the time,” he said.

Urbina said he slept through several calls alerting him to the fire that broke out around 10 p.m. Monday.

He didn’t realize what had happened until he woke up hours later.

A passerby had noticed smoke pouring from the building and called 911.

It is located right across the street from a fire station so firefighters were able to arrive almost immediately.

However, they ran into a small delay when they had to force their way inside the business, which was closed at the time.

“There’s a lot of water and smoke right now,” Urbina said. “That seems to be the worst of the problem.”

Repairs crews immediately got to work in the wee hours of the morning, boarding up the shattered windows on a set of bay doors and mopping up some of the water.

Urbina said most of the equipment inside the shop was spared from any damage.

He said expects to be able to reopen as soon as he gets a green light from the fire marshal.

“We do have a large business here and I’d like to let our customers know that as soon as possible ... we will be going,” he said.

In the meantime, Urbina said, customers are welcome to call or visit the shop location in person to check on their vehicles.

About the Authors: