3-alarm fire at car dealership in Santa Clara

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KGO) -- A 3-alarm fire did significant damage to a car dealership in the South Bay. The gas and oil fueled the flames and put firefighters in danger.

Firefighters are still here making sure there are no hot spots and the structure is secured. Acura officials are hoping to re-open sometime today.

Stevens Creek Boulevard in Santa Clara is well known for one thing.

"This is the mecca of car dealerships, this strip," said Dave Heavey, service technician.

Unfortunately, the Autonation Acura Dealership never got a chance to open this morning before a fire erupted in their service department.

Firefighters were called at about 6:20 a.m. Workers say the flames burned part of the building where about 10 service bays were located.

Service technician Dave Heavey told us what was inside: "Customer cars I'd imagine. All our tool boxes and we have oil drums on the end, fresh oil. There's a big gas line that goes all the way through the building.

Firefighters pulled out quickly before the roof collapsed. Their efforts putting water from the outside, and a fire wall on the inside, were able to keep the flames from spreading to other parts of the building. Because this is an auto-repair shop, there are a lot of flammable fluids stored inside.

However, Santa Clara's Fire Chief says they've done inspections here before.

"We work with businesses to limit the amount of chemicals they have on scene so just for this reason so if something happens nothing gets out of control," said Santa Clara Fire Dept Chief Bill Kelly.

No one was injured. The winds cooperated as well, with the black smoke going straight up.The next step, fixing what was damaged today.

"It would be a shame for us to leave here. But I doubt it. Maybe we'll build a beautiful new building here. We've got great new products out so w we'll need a nice new building to match it," said Heavey.

Fire marshals are here trying to figure out what started the fire. They say they're looking at all possibilities.

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