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Cause Of 3-Alarm Fire At Belvedere Tire Shop Still Unknown

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A three-alarm fire filled the Baltimore sky with smoke. Now investigators are scouring what’s left of an auto repair shop.

Adam May has the latest from the scene.

Baltimore firefighters call it one of the one worst infernos they’ve seen in decades. A building full of tires erupted in flames. Workers at the auto repair shop ran for their lives.

“When I heard one of my co-workers yell fire, and I looked and the fire was already touching the ceiling,” said “Big Tye,” owner’s son. “It was just too uncontrollable, and I seen the guy who burned his hands. He running with his shirt on fire and stuff.  Crazy, ya know.”

Twenty-four hours later the owner’s son watched as heavy equipment tore down walls, revealing more tires still smoldering, emitting pungent, toxic fumes.

“Literally one breath of smoke can render them lifeless,” Kevin Cartwright, Baltimore City Fire Department.

Fire officials say there is no danger to the general public.

“Tragic, a lot of people lost jobs, lost jobs and lost business around here,” said Mr. Brown, witness.

Brown was feet away when it started.

What was it like to be close to such a fire and the odor?

“Dangerous because you’re dealing with rubber,” Brown said. “Anything could explode.”

Investigators have not determined the cause. They’re interviewing eyewitnesses and the owner, who says he’s been praying.

“If you mind stays on Jesus, peace will always come,” said Jimmy Washington, owner.

When asked if his faith is going to help him get through the loss of his business, he replied, “I’m through it. I’m here.”

After 50 years in business, he vows the fire won’t be his retirement.

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