By CHRISTIN COYNE
HUDSON OAKS - Black smoke that billowed from Jerry’s Buick GMC building and through the City of Hudson Oaks Wednesday evening was a result of a vehicle fire inside the service center bays after the business closed, according to officials.
Firefighters from several departments across the county responded around 6:30 p.m. to the fire located inside the west service bays. Heavy black smoke was coming from the building at that point, according to fire officials.
An employee said he had just closed up after other employees had left when he heard a noise.
When he went back inside to check it out, he saw the fire, he said.
The employee, who said it was the first fire at the facility built in 1988, wondered if a vehicle had exploded.
Traffic on U.S. Highway 180 was slowed for a period of time by onlookers and the thick smoke.
The fire was extinguished around 7:30 p.m. and firefighters were clearing the smoke as a crowd gathered in front of the business late Wednesday evening. The investigation into what caused the fire Wednesday evening was ongoing.
Officials did not believe there was any damage to the structure, according to Hudson Oaks City Administrator Patrick Lawler.
It appeared initially that two vehicles had been damaged in the fire, aside from any smoke damage, Lawler said.
“We’re going to take care of any customer vehicles that were in there,” Jerry Durant said. “That’s our No. 1 priority.”
He added that they would make sure customers and employees who work in surrounding buildings are not too inconvenienced as they work to discover the fire's cause.
“It’s not the end of the world,” Durant said. “Nobody was hurt.”