The People's Tribune

Crews Battle Large Blaze At Jensen Auto Body In Vandalia

Fire Claims Building, Contents, Several Vehicles

Vandalia firefighters spent over five hours battling a blaze on Sunday at Jensen Auto Body located at 102 N. Galloway Road.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time. Fire Chief Rusty Strother said the building and its contents have been deemed a total loss.

He explained that crews were dispatched to the scene at about 9 a.m. on Sunday and remained on the scene until about 2 p.m.

“When we arrived flames were coming out of the northeast corner,” he said. “It was really cooking through the ceiling area.”

He noted the structure is very large and one-story.

“It’s wide open inside. It’s like a vault. There was nothing to stop it spreading everywhere.”

He noted the building naturally had a great deal of chemicals and other products such as paint and paint thinners that had to be considered as crews were working to control the blaze.

“It was hot. It warped the ceiling beams which are super high,” Strother explained. “It was really tough to access with the steel. It wasn’t one we could chase,” he added.

He noted that a cause could not be immediately determined. Strother said an investigator from the state fire marshal’s office out of Montgomery City visited the scene and will provide a report. Strother noted the scene is not considered suspicious.

A total of 14 firefighters from the Vandalia Fire Department were on the scene and four trucks were called into service. Mutual aid was also received from the Farber Fire Department which sent a truck and about six crew members. No injuries were reported.

Strother said there were about three cars, a tractor and ambulance and a van for the Department of Corrections that were destroyed at the property.

The business is owned and operated by Scott Jensen.

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