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Smoke from Rochester Shop Fire Affects Highway 52 Traffic

photo from Rochester Fire Dept
photo from Rochester Fire Dept

Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) – A fire broke out Wednesday at a garage shop in southwest Rochester and the smoke briefly affected traffic on Highway 52.

Firefighters were sent to 401 33rd ST SW at 3:30 p.m. and arrived to find the story and a half building engulfed in flames.

Deputy Fire Chief Steve Belau says the 911 caller gave the wrong address but the responding firefighters followed the large amount of smoke to the correct site.

Belau says the fire was started by gasoline vapors that were ignited by a power tool. He says the owner of the shop was working on his car in the garage but only sustained minor burn injuries from the flash fire and was not taken to the hospital.The shop was damaged so severely that it is deemed a total loss. The preliminary damage estimate including contents exceeds $50,000.

Belau says the smoke from the fire was so thick it impacted motorists on nearby Highway 52 north of the Highway 63 interchange until the blaze was brought under control.

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