A dozen classic cars, including a Dodge Viper and a 1968 Chevrolet Camaro, were heavily damaged or destroyed early Sunday morning when one of the vehicles apparently caught fire inside a North Strabane garage.
Firefighters were called to an alarm at DeConcilis Eye and Vision Center, located at 950 S. Central Ave. about 4:45 a.m. and found the fire in a basement storage garage located in the rear area of the building, North Strabane fire Chief Mark Grimm said.
They opened a garage door and found the Viper and a Cadillac Escalade behind it on fire with heat and smoke damaging nearby cars, Grimm said. Firefighters extinguished the blaze, but not before most of the dozen classic or collectible cars sustained some damage.
Grimm said they are working to determine the value of the cars lost in the fire, but he expected it to be a “significantly high” figure.
“There’s some high-end cars in there,” Grimm said. “I’d be sick to my stomach.”
The fire chief did not immediately know who owned the cars, but expected to have more information today.
The state police fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire, though Grimm said it appears to be an accident. Grimm said firefighters suspect one of the vehicle’s battery chargers ignited the blaze.
Several boats and antique cars owned by people renting storage units on either side of the section where the fire occurred were not damaged. However, most of the building sustained smoke damage, Grimm said.
Firefighters from Peters, Canonsburg, Chartiers, Houston and Washington assisted North Strabane at the scene.