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Mechanic shop car catches fire after hours, miraculously doesn’t spread

Idaho Falls

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IDAHO FALLS — An auto repair shop and its employees are OK after a vehicle burst into flames and miraculously didn’t spread inside the shop.

Idaho Falls firefighters got a 911 call from a resident at around 7 p.m. Monday. The caller, who lives on North Skyline drive above Sutton Auto-Tech, said they saw a vehicle on fire in the shop.

Sutton Auto-Tech owner Mike Sutton told he had been working on a car’s electrical system. The car, which is a 69 MG had been in their shop for a few months.

“The car has been stored for 11 years before it got towed in. I fixed the fuse box and then within an hour after that, the fire started under the dash around the steering column,” he said.

Sutton and his employees had left for the day after working on the car and closed up the shop. It wasn’t until about 20 minutes later, that the fire started.

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“My son-in-law called me about the fire in my shop. (I) pulled up the cameras and saw on video that a car was on fire and (I) came flying down here. Nothing like this has ever happened,” Sutton said.

The fire lasted for about 15 minutes according to surveillance. Pictures Sutton gave to show the car that caught fire, was parked by several other vehicles. Surveillance shows the interior of the car suddenly catch fire and flames can be seen coming through the windows. The flames got larger and larger, but somehow, the fire stayed in one place.

“I don’t know how it didn’t light everything. There was a cardboard box two feet away from it standing against the wall, it didn’t light that up. A gas caddy was about six feet away. There was another car a foot away from it. It melted the taillight a little bit. It didn’t bubble the paint,” Sutton said.

Sutton says they do have insurance for their business.

Unfortunately, the interior of the vehicle is destroyed. The steering wheel was burned right off. Part of the roof is also destroyed. Sutton estimates about $30,000 was lost on the vehicle.

He says the owners of the vehicle have been notified and that they will be coming to view the surveillance footage.

Sutton says he’s just very grateful that nobody was hurt, and there wasn’t any more damage.

“Thank you to the firefighters. I thank them for being here so quickly. I’d like to thank the kid upstairs (for calling 911),” he said.

Sutton Auto-Tech is open for business as usual.

Surveillance pictures, Courtesy: Mike Sutton




Car damage, Andrea Olson,