A fire that broke out July 18 at Detroit-area car dealership severely damaged the building and destroyed 30 cars, all belonging to customers. Now Buff Whelan Chevrolet has released a video, seen above, of the moments leading up to the fire.

The video shows a member of a cleaning crew using a buffer to clean the floors of the garage at the Sterling Heights, Mich., dealership. At one point, he accidentally knocks over a gas tank, and fuel begins spreading across the floor as he tries to clean it up with his hands. Soon thereafter, he passes over the fuel with the floor cleaner, and the fire erupts. Flames engulf the worker and the machine, and begin spreading across the floor as the worker flees.

In a 911 call, the worker reports that "Shit is blowing up," and that his arm is severely burned (though fire officials say the man was OK, and didn't need any treatment, according to The Voice). He says fuel was leaking out of a gas tank, but doesn't mention that he knocked it over. The dealership released the video to show that the fire was no fault of their own, and the video from WXYZ news is pretty damning of the man cleaning the floor. Police say it was an accident, but that the cleaner should have noticed the gas he spilled.

It's unclear what the costs associated with the blaze will be, but the fire was the largest in the history of Sterling Heights. More than 80 firefighters from multiple fire departments got the fire under control in about 2½ hours. The service center building partially collapsed. Buff Whelan Chevrolet is offering loaner vehicles to the customers who lost their cars, and will pay for any replacements the dealership's insurance doesn't cover. The service department employees are back at work at the dealership, with some bringing tools from home to work on cars.

Related Video:

Share This Photo X