Deputy Fire Marshal John Andrews inspects a vehicle that was destroyed by an electrical fire in Wallingford, Friday, Sept. 21, 2013, at Quality Auto LLC on South Colony Road in the background.

Electrical fire destroys SUV, damages dealership

WALLINGFORD — An electrical fire caused the destruction of a vehicle on the lot of Quality Auto Sales LLC at 286 S. Colony Road at about 4:30 p.m. Friday and also damaged the siding on the building’s exterior.

Lt. Kevin Bouchard of the Wallingford Fire Department said Engine 1 was initially dispatched to the scene, but was soon joined by the department’s structure fire response team, which consisted of Engine 2, Car 4, and Truck 1. Engine 1 was able to extinguish the blaze in two to three minutes, Bouchard said, prior to the arrival of the structure fire response unit.

Deputy Fire Marshal John Andrews said the car had been sitting on the lot of the dealership for over a week, after having been towed there due to electrical issues.

Andrews said the car battery was never disconnected, and the electrical activity taking place underneath the dashboard and in the engine eventually contacted the battery, causing the fire.

Manager Kerry Cassella said when the car caught fire, it was surrounded on three sides by other vehicles. He and an employee quickly moved the other cars to safety, he said.

Cassella said the building’s siding had been installed in the spring, immediately prior to the dealership’s opening.

He said he hoped the vehicle owner’s insurance would cover the damages to his facility but he was grateful not to lose his shop.

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