Five businesses affected by massive Columbia Township fire

COLUMBIA TOWNSHIP, OH (WOIO) - A massive weekend fire in Columbia Township has at least five businesses out of commission.

Columbia Township Fire Chief Ray Anthony tells 19 Action News that the fire started in an auto repair shop after a worker took a gas tank off a car. Gas spilled and when the worker fired up a torch, the spark ignited the gasoline vapors.

The fire, with plenty of fuel available, spread quickly as workers unsuccessfully tried to put it out with fire extinguishers.

Monday, a restoration crew was on scene.

Besides the auto repair shop, there is a machine shop and the big tree landscaping company in the building.

Seven fire companies responded and they were dealing with snow and bitter cold temperatures that actually froze the hydrant water lines, forcing them to truck water to the scene.

"Actually, it did slow us down quite a bit," said Lt. Brett Heidecker. "The initial vehicle on scene minutes after dispatch time, that delayed the onset of our water supply."

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