Las Vegas Metro Police were patrolling in the area of West Lake Mead Boulevard and North Decatur Boulevard when smoke started to fill the area. The officer searched the area and found flames on the roof of the Decatur Auto Center at 2147 N. Decatur Blvd.
Las Vegas firefighters were dispatched at 9:37 p.m. and on arrival at the one-story building, smoke and flames were visible on the roof. Firefighters forced entry into the business and found the fire just inside one of two work bays; a work bench was on fire. They had the fire out in a minute.
The fire burned up an interior wall to a vent directly above in the ceiling from the swamp cooler mounted on the roof. This is what made the flames visible on the outside. The vent acted like a chimney and drew most of the heat, smoke and gases to the outside.
The fire started on the work bench which consisted of typical automotive repair parts and liquids and some electrical appliances such as a telephone, battery charger and other devices.
The bench was destroyed. As it burned up the wall, the main circuit breaker box for the building was destroyed and significant wiring was damaged as well as the swamp cooler. Damage was estimated at $50,000. Two autos parked inside the shop for repairs were not damaged.
Employees left the business only an hour earlier and said everything appeared to be fine when they left. Although an exact cause of what ignited the work bench could not be determined, it was ruled accidental.
There were no reported injuries.