Investigators determine auto repair shop fire started by mechanic using a torch

Fire investigators say a blaze at an industrial mall in London yesterday caused $200,000 in damage.

Firefighters were called to at Wharncliffe Road and Wonderland Road around 1 p.m. on Friday, where thick, black smoke was coming from a unit in the strip mall. The blaze started inside the Lambeth Service Centre.

Investigators determined that a mechanic was working on a vehicle using a torch, when fuel was ignited. They say he tried unsuccessfully to douse the flames, and the fire quickly spread through the garage.

The vehicle on the hoist is a total loss, in addition to some of the tools and equipment in the garage. Heat and fire damage extended througout the garage and into the office area. Fire crews extinguished the flames before they spread to the other units in the strip mall.

The owner of the shop suffered smoke inhalation. There were no other injuries reported.