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Ashtabula garage fire destroys cars and lawn tractor

By:  Shelley Terry - Star Beacon

ASHTABULA - - An early morning garage fire on the city's east side, burned up two cars, a lawn tractor and a motorcycle, according to the Ashtabula Fire Department's report.

Firefighters were called at 5 a.m. Wednesday to 5004 Dwight Ave. after a neighbor reported smoke and flames coming from down the street. When they arrived, they discovered a fully involved garage fire.

No one was injured in the blaze, but the heat was so intense it damaged the siding on the garage next door and forced firefighters to block off traffic on the road for more than an hour, reports show.

A 1988 Chevy Baretta parked in front of the garage, a 1969 Plymouth Fury, as well as a motorcycle and lawn tractor parked on a trailer behind the building, were consumed by flames, the report said.

It took firefighters from six units about 20 minutes to extinguish the blaze, the report said.

Ashtabula's fire inspector, Capt. Gerald Senger, then began his investigation, noting the building was a total loss.

Firefighters left the scene shortly after 7 a.m., but the origin of the fire is still under investigation.

Any time of year, garages are prime places for fires to start, firefighters said. This is because many people store combustible materials and fire starters in their garages.

Firefighters recommend:

- Putting substances like gasoline, oil, and paints in a small, sealed container. Store these containers away from appliances, heaters, pilot lights and other sources of flame or heat.

- Never store propane cylinders indoors. They are sturdy enough to stay outside, and the risk of them catching fire indoors is just too great. Propane is highly combustible, and a tank could cause a deadly explosion.

- Always clean up any spill that occurs in the garage.

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