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Fire damages Santa Rosa auto repair business

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An electrical circuit may have caused an early morning fire that damaged an auto repair shop and forced a family to evacuate the building to escape the heavy smoke and flames, Santa Rosa fire officials said.

No one was injured in the fire, which broke out about 12:25 a.m. Friday at Mike’s Imports and Engines auto repair on Santa Rosa Avenue and caused an estimated $30,000 in damage, Battalion Chief Mark Basque said. The longtime business is on the first floor of the building with an apartment upstairs.

When the first engine arrived, firefighters saw flames through the office windows, where investigators suspect the fire originated when an electrical circuit shorted, Basque said. Flames were also spreading to a mid-level mezzanine used for storage, and smoke filled a stairwell leading to the second floor.

The noise of the firefighters awoke the family of four upstairs — two adults, two children and their pets — and they were helped to safety. Firefighters stopped the fire before it spread to the shop area, where about a dozen vehicles were parked, and the upstairs apartment.

The fire caused heavy damage to the office and storage area.

You can reach Staff Writer Julie Johnson at 707-521-5220 or julie.johnson@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @jjpressdem.

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