September 23, 2014

Elyria
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47°F
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Collector cars charred in Carlisle Township auto shop blaze

CARLISLE TWP. — Six vehicles, including a 1965 Mustang convertible, were damaged Wednesday morning when a fire broke out at Clint’s Auto in a building on Oberlin-Elyria Road across from the Rural King plaza, according to Carlisle Township fire Lt. Robert Hanmer.

No one was inside Clint’s Auto at the time and people in an adjoining business called for help at 11:04 a.m. after seeing smoke, Hanmer said.

The call went out for part-time firefighters to respond, and the fire was extinguished by 11:22 a.m. after firefighters emptied two pumpers carrying a total of 1,500 gallons of water on the blaze, Hanmer said.

Hanmer declined to set a damage estimate, but said the block-construction building sustained heavy smoke damage along with the vehicles being repaired inside.

In addition to the 1965 Mustang, the building included a Jaguar, a 1973 MG Midget convertible, a 1991 Ford pickup, a 1997 Ford pickup and a 1996 Chrysler pickup, according to the report.

Owner Clint Harris anxiously waited outside as firefighters extinguished the blaze in sub-freezing temperatures.

“It’s messed up,” Harris said of the fire, which appeared to have scorched the vehicles.

There was no obvious cause of the fire, which will be ruled undetermined, Hanmer said.

“Let’s face it — it’s a body shop with gasoline and oil,” Hanmer said.

The building is part of a complex owned by Lorne Elbert Jr.’s companies, according to Elbert’s son, Lorne Elbert III, who arrived at the fire scene a short time after it broke out.

“I was in a meeting with the city and someone called and said, ‘Your building’s on fire,’ ” Elbert said.

The Oberlin Fire Department responded with mutual aid, but the fire was already out, Hanmer said.

Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or cleise@chroniclet.com.