KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A small explosion started a fire at a South Knoxville transmission shop Monday afternoon that damaged 18 vehicles, according to the shop manager.
Manager and lead mechanic Tony Ogle said two of those vehicles are irreplaceable. “A lot of good people lost a lot in this crazy accident,” he said.
Ogle said a 1947 Panel Wagon and 1960 Rambler were among the vehicles damaged when a fire broke out at Dave’s Wholesale Transmissions Monday afternoon.
Knoxville Fire Department crews responded to the fire and have been working all afternoon to fight it since arriving at around 4 p.m. At the time of the explosion, six employees were present and attempted to extinguish the flames.
The owner, Dave Johnson, was the only person injured in this incident — Ogle said he talked to him and Johnson is doing alright. “He’s doing alright. He got his hands just a little bit, other than that he’s going to be good.”
Johnson is out of the hospital and recovering at his home after suffering first-degree and second-degree burns.
Ogle said he was turning some wrenches when, “All of a sudden we heard a big boom, I looked up and turned around and the whole side of the wall was on fire. We grabbed fire extinguishers, but they didn’t touch it, it was just too far at that point.”
“There was no one near the area that caught on fire first. Once we turned around, we all grabbed a fire extinguisher and ran over there. Dave just stayed a little longer than he should’ve, he should’ve got out a little faster. He watched his whole life go up,” Ogle said.
Ogle also spoke about the next steps with the shop, “Hopefully rebuilding, I’ve still got a few cars here in the parking lot. I’m going to try and find a new location and get my customers’ cars back that are still able, you know that aren’t burnt.”
Finally, Ogle added, “We’re sorry guys, we’ll take care of it as soon as I figure out what all is gone, I will reach out to everybody. If everyone else can keep us in their thoughts and prayers that would be the biggest help.”
STAY INFORMED: Download: the WATE 6 On Your Side News and Weather Apps