ROCHESTER, N.Y. – No one was injured in a Friday night fire at Sofia’s Collision and Frame on Palmer Street in Rochester.
Rochester Fire Department Capt. Ted Kuppinger said the department responded to the auto collision center about 8:15 p.m. It took crews about an hour to knock it down.
Kuppinger said one employee was in the business at the time working in the paint booth and they believe that’s where the fire started. He said the employee was the one who called in the fire and was not injured.
Kuppinger said they believe the fire may have started either due to static electricity in the solvent materials or the mechanics of the ventilation system within the paint booth could have failed.
He said there are a few things they had to consider while fighting this type of fire.
“Anytime you’re in a commercial building like this, you’re always worried about open pits and lots of other flammables and solvents, so there are a lot of extra precautions you take,” Kuppinger said. “The off gassing from an industrial fire, the toxic fumes can be a lot worse because the amount of solvents and the materials that are in this fire. So technically a little bit more cautious, you worry about open pits because in an auto shop an open pit will fill with water and you’ll step in and drop down.
Kuppinger says most of the building sustained smoke and water damage, but the heaviest fire damage was mostly contained to the paint booth and the maintenance area near the paint booth.