MOUNT CARMEL TOWNSHIP -- Fire hit a long-running auto business in Northumberland county Tuesday morning, and while investigators look for a cause, the owner says he is suspicious of what could have sparked the fire.
A photo sent to wnep.com shows lots of smoke coming from the auto garage and used car dealership near Mount Carmel.
Authorities said the fire started around 5 a.m. Tuesday.
A little while later, the fire at George Tomol's Auto Sales on Route 61 was out, thanks to quick work by firefighters.
“The basement area is moderate to heavy damage. The first floor in this section of garage seems ok at this point,” said Mount Carmel Police Chief Brian Hollenbush.
A Mercedes was destroyed in the blaze. Investigators say the fire started in the rear garage where that vehicle was parked, among lots of other fuel for the flames which caused so much damage.
"There was a lot of fuel, a lot of tires. It's an automotive garage, oils, gases, multiple flammable liquids, so the firefighters did an excellent job getting this under control quickly,” added Chief Hollenbush.
Tomol Auto Sales has been in business in the Mount Carmel area for about two generations. After this destructive fire, investigators aren't sure they'll ever know what caused it. But the owner, George Tomol, is convinced it was no accident.
“No, no accident, no way in the world that was an accident,” said Tomol.
Tomol told investigators the Mercedes belonged to his daughter who is going through a divorce, causing him to be suspicious of what started the fire. Either way, the fire caused a great deal of damage, leaving Tomol questioning if he can return back to business
“What the hell can you say, you know? It happened, it happened. Wish I had enough insurance for the whole thing.”
Investigators say there may be too much damage to ever know what sparked the fire.