An early morning fire appears to have gutted a Vickers Street North auto body shop.
Firefighters rushed to Frankie and Johnny’s Auto Body Ltd Friday morning well before dawn, where thick smoke could be seen billowing through the air.
While Thunder Bay Fire Rescue has yet to comment on the blaze, a neighbour who says he knows the owner said no one is believed to have been in the building when the fire began.
Albert Busby called it a tragic set of circumstances.
“I know the fellow who owns it and he’s devastated,” Busby said. “I spoke with Frankie earlier and he’s pretty devastated. He’s got everything he owns tied up in the building. So yeah, he’s pretty shook up.”
Busby said he was surprised at all the activity, estimating he first noticed it at about 7:15 a.m.
“I heard the fire trucks go by, which is abnormal in this neighbourhood. I looked out the window to see (because) I didn’t hear too much of a siren,” Busby said. “So I looked out and saw all the smoke and the fire trucks and I walked over.
“The smoke was billowing up pretty much straight, except where the breeze caught it. It was pretty heavy.”
It was the second major fire overnight. Earlier firefighters tackled a blaze that torched a May Street upholstery business.