An explosion and fire in Corning Thursday afternoon damaged three businesses and sent two firefighters to the hospital. Fire crews were called just after 4 p.m. to Rich’s Auto Repair.
Corning Fire Chief Donnie Willett says the situation could have been much worse had the owner of the business, Richard Drake, not stepped outside moments before the explosion. “He was working on one of the cars and it was by the overhead door…he then went outside with a customer who drove up when the overhead door blew out,” Willett said.
The auto repair business sustained major damage, along with three vehicles that were inside the shop. Two adjacent businesses, Corning Auto Supply and Corning Plumbing and Heating, sustained smoke damage. Willet says it appears the problem originated with the car Drake had been working on before stepping outside.
“The gas tank blew up, blew the (overhead) door out and then gas on the floor caught on fire,” Willet said. Two firefighters from Corning were both treated for exhaustion related injuries at an area hospital.
By Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic