FLAMES destroyed a motor mechanics’ workshop at Wangaratta yesterday, devastating the couple who owned it.
Neighbours were asked to stay indoors as smoke billowed from the building.
Fire investigators will today examine what’s left of the gutted Wangaratta Automotive Service Centre in Greta Road, which caught fire about 2.30pm.
For Sean Hogan and Rachael McKay, the quicker the cause is determined, they sooner they can start the process of rebuilding their small business.
Ms McKay said a mechanic had been working on a car when “something happened, maybe with the fuel pump, and it just ignited”.
There were two people inside at the time, and the first mechanic was quickly led to safety.
It is believed he was taken to hospital with burns to his arms.
Ms McKay said she was happy everyone was safe.
They would potentially have to rebuild from scratch given the extent of the damage.
The couple opened the business in March last year and had been happy with its success.
“We were looking to put on an apprentice as we wanted to grow it,” Ms McKay said.
“Sean’s just devastated.
“This is his pride and joy and to have it all taken away in a couple of seconds.
“But as people say, we can always rebuild and at least everyone is safe, so that’s the main thing.”
Firefighters from Wangaratta, South Wangaratta and Glenrowan contained the fire to the premises.
CFA operations officer Stuart Walker said while there was no dollar figure on the damage yet, it appeared the whole place had been affected.
“The fire didn’t present any particular problems for firefighters,” Mr Walker said.
“It was putting out a lot of smoke though so as a precaution we asked people to stay indoors and turn off their heating and cooling systems so wouldn’t be affected.”
Greta Road also closed for a time while the fire crews got the blaze under control.