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Fire destroys garage, cars in Galax

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A fire damaged Alley’s Garage on Oct. 8, with flames so hot they melted tires off the cars inside and boiled water on the floor.

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By SHAINA STOCKTON
Staff

Firefighters described a blaze inside a metal building last week as like walking into an oven, with temperatures climbing as high as 800 degrees.
Fire Chief David Hankley said the fire at Alley’s Garage was hot enough to melt the tires on cars inside and to boil water on the floor.
The Galax Volunteer Fire Department was called to the structure fire off Brickyard Road on Oct. 8 at around 10:05 p.m.
The fire was located in the back of a garage constructed entirely of metal, which trapped heat inside, according to Hankley.
Hankley said that the firefighters had a lot of difficulty reaching the blaze. There was limited road access, and the garage was surrounded by disabled cars in the surrounding auto salvage yard and rough terrain. When they finally got to the garage, they were required to travel 100 feet inside of the building, forcing them to deal with the extreme temperatures.
“The all-metal construction of the garage basically created a giant oven,” said Hankley. “There was nowhere for the heat to escape.”
Hankley said that it took roughly 30 minutes to put out the fire. In addition to the back section, the flames escaped into other sections of the building, leaving about two-thirds of the entire building with fire damage.
The garage contained approximately eight vehicles, five of which were antiques. “The heat was extreme enough to actually melt the wheels on the cars,” said Hankley.
There were also approximately 100 tires that were damaged inside.
Owner Jerrell Alley was present on the scene, but there were no injuries as a result of the fire.
The department has not determined the fire’s origin.