Owners of a long-time local body shop are thankful their building is still standing after a fire Friday night left portions of the shop charred. Time Warner Cable News reporter Breanna Fuss has more from inside Sofia Collision and Frame as owners assess the damage.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- On the outside, it's discolored and disheveled concrete blocks. On the inside, its soot-covered walls, melted sky lights and a charred room.
"What a mess," said Steve Sofia, owner of Sofia Collision and Frame.
Saturday morning, Sofia saw for the first time what's left of his auto body shop.
"It's not as bad as I thought it was. Last night there was all the smoke and flames," Sofia said.
Around 8:15 Friday night, the Rochester Fire Department battled a large blaze.
"The fire department, they believe the heater let go in the spray booth," Sofia explained.
Sofia said an employee was wiping down a car with solvent when the rag burst into flames.
"He threw the rag down and he tried stomping it out with his feet," Sofia said. "He couldn't stomp it out with his feet so he grabbed the hose."
The employee thought he put out the fire.
"But, he still smelt a lot of smoke so he lifted the grate up in the spray booth and the fire was all under the floor," Sofia continued.
Crews fought the flames for an hour due to all the chemicals, solvents, and unusual layout of the building. But, Sofia said the minimal damage is due to the paint booth being explosion proof. Despite the fire being contained primarily to this area, the cost of damages is estimated to be upwards of $300,000.
Thankfully, the cars in the shop were left with a little coating of soot. It's a much better outcome compared to 18 years ago. Sofia said a fire then burnt the shop to the ground.
"This one is kind of an easier one, this one will probably just take longer to build because we have to use what we've got," Sofia said.
Until the shop is repaired, Sofia hopes to work out of a temporary location.
"You go down, but you don't go down for the count," Sofia laughed.