PIQUA — Fire investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s Office and Piqua Fire Department were back on Thursday morning to continue their investigation as to the cause of a Wednesday fire that caused devastating damage to the Paul Sherry dealership.
Flames roared through a building at the Paul Sherry Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram dealership on North County Road 25-A on Wednesday night, causing major damage to both the structure and contents.
In spite of the fire, Paul Sherry owner Jim Sherry stated early Thursday, “We are able to sell cars right now.” Sherry and his staff are making adjustments are are ready to do business as usual.
Piqua firefighters were dispatched to the Paul Sherry Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram site at 8645 N. County Road 25-A around 9:45 p.m. on the report of a fire, with flames showing.
A Piqua police officer arrived quickly and reported that flames were visible coming from the side of the building at the Service Center.
Early reports from witnesses claimed that they had heard “explosions” coming from the area of the fire.
Firefighters from Piqua arrived and immediately requested responses from both Covington and Fletcher.
The heaviest flames seemed to be coming from the service area but the entire building, including the business offices appeared to have sustained either fire or smoke damage. There was also at least one vehicle parked at the service entrance that was also engulfed in flames.
Popping sounds could be heard periodically as what were presumed to be car tire burst due to heat and flames.
The fire was brought under control in about an hour, but firefighters did not clear the scene until nearly 1 a.m.
Captain Lee Adams said that there was no evidence of any explosions and attributed the early claim by witnesses to vehicle tires bursting, etc.
The owners of Paul Sherry were able to enter the building and retrieve “import documents,” said Adams.
Fire investigators say that two vehicles were destroyed by flames. Eight other cars and a motorcycle suffered smoke damage. It will be up to insurance adjusters to determine if any of the damaged vehicles can be salvaged.
In addition to damage to vehicles, investigators are examining the building for possible structure damage.
County Road 25-A was shut down at the fire scene approximately two hours as firefighters worked the scene.
No injuries were reported.
Reach Mike Ullery at (937) 451-3335.