By RACHAEL LONG / Photos submitted by Nelson Andrews
*Editor’s note: This story was updated at 2:58 p.m. to include a statement from Fire Chief Brian Goss about the cause of the fire.
A small fire took place Tuesday morning at Andrews Cadillac, located in the Maryland Farms office park.
President of Andrews Cadillac Nelson Andrews said the fire took place in one of the company’s automotive paint booths, where auto body parts are sprayed.
No one was injured in the fire Tuesday, the biggest concern on Andrews’ mind.
“The very good news is that yesterday’s fire is inconvenient and expensive, but not horrific or tragic,” Andrews said Wednesday. “I’d much rather be talking to equipment and roofing companies than doctors and hospitals.”
Brentwood Fire and Rescue Chief Brian Goss said investigators were on the scene Wednesday morning and early afternoon.
“As suspected, it was determined that the fire started with an overheated electric motor in the ventilations system for the paint booth,” Goss said Wednesday afternoon. “The heat from the motor ignited vapors and residue inside the ventilation ducts.”
Andrews, who was at the dealership during the inspection and before the official cause was known, he speculated that the fire was the result of a mechanical failure.
“Belts can fail, and it sounds like it was just bad luck that this failure found something to ignite.”
Andrews said the company has “the good fortune to be located in Brentwood,” as he said the Brentwood Fire and Rescue team was on site in minutes and “had the fire swiftly under control.” He also said everyone inside Andrews Cadillac made it out safely, and his team was able to get back to business before lunchtime.
The equipment damaged in the fire will need to be replaced, but Andrews said the company has figured out some temporary work-arounds to keep the body shop open in the meantime.
“I am profoundly grateful for Brentwood’s outstanding fire department,” Andrews said by email Tuesday. “This could have been a lot worse.”
Andrews said the company does not yet have a dollar estimate on the damage to the building and equipment.