LORAIN — An electrical malfunction is believed to have caused a fire that severely damaged a self-service car wash about 4:05 p.m. Thursday.
The malfunction involved a blown light or voltage spike in the first bay of the six-bay J&E Superwash at 3507 Elyria Ave., said Assistant Fire Chief Roy Cochran. No one was hurt in the fire, and no one was using the car wash when the fire erupted.
The car wash is between East 35th and East 36th streets. Loads of black smoke billowing 30 feet high were coming from the car wash when firefighters arrived at 4:10 p.m., bystanders said.
“Smoke was covering the sky,” witness Felicia Saunders said. “It just started spiraling in the air.”
Cochran said the fire spread to the second and third bays before being contained about 4:20 p.m. Firefighters hosed down hot spots until 5 p.m.
The fire caused about $45,000 in damage, Cochran said. The property has a total market value of $58,230, according to the Lorain County Auditor’s website.
Owner Ron Boyle, who said he bought the car wash in 2004, said the business had never had a fire or maintenance problems before. Boyle said he has insurance.