Spark From Tool Ignites Fire That Destroys a Vehicle and Significantly Damages Garage

By Christy Aumer, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Fire significantly damaged a northeast Cedar Rapids garage Friday evening and destroyed a vehicle and several tools, officials said.

Firefighters arrived to smoke coming from a two-stall detached garage at 3821 Oakland Rd NE around 6:46 p.m. Firefighters cut through the garage door and began a fast attack on the fire within the garage. The crew was able to contain the fire damage to the garage and prevent it from spreading to the nearby residential structure.

Fire Department spokesman Greg Buelow said Charles Peal, 54, was working on a vehicle inside the garage with an acetylene torch to remove bolts to repair the rear suspension, when a spark ignited the backseat of the car. No one was hurt in the blaze, officials said.

The vehicle was owned by Peal's friend, Charnel Payton, officials said. The walls to the garage are still standing, but significant damage was reported to the inner walls of the garage along with several tools, lawn equipment and a snow thrower.

The owner of the garage was Peal's mother, Clara Marx, officials said.
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