Fire damages Wallkill auto shop

Posted: Updated:

A fast-moving fire tore through an auto shop in Wallkill Wednesday morning, sending one person to the hospital and causing damage to several garages.

Workers at Lothar's Body Shop, located at 20 Maltese Drive, pounded on the door of the nearby Silverlake Volunteer Fire Department moments after a fire sparked inside the garage.

"They were spraying some lacquer in the booth and it ignited, that's all," says employee Ron Roda.

More than 50 firefighters arrived on the scene to battle the blaze. They used ladder trucks to attack flames bursting through the roof and melting the metal building.

As the smoke thickened, employees scrambled to remove cars from the burning structure. One worker was taken to the hospital after suffering smoke inhalation.

The fire was eventually extinguished, leaving behind a heavily damaged auto shop, which has been in business since 1962. Only one car was destroyed by fire, but about 30 others still need to be repaired by a promised deadline.

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