02/09/05 — Eureka businesses destroyed in early-morning fire

View Archive

Eureka businesses destroyed in early-morning fire

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on February 9, 2005 2:17 PM

EUREKA -- An auto repair shop was destroyed today in a fire that may have been caused by an electrical short, officials said.

The Martin Brothers shop at 105 W. Martin St. was "burned to the ground," Eureka Fire Chief Mike Brock said. Damages were estimated at more than $125,000.

The shop's office building next door also sustained minor fire damage.

"They were mighty lucky," Brock said. "The fire got between the buildings. I don't know why it didn't burn down."

Brock said the official cause was undetermined. But he added that it may have been caused by an electrical short.

Thirteen Eureka volunteer firefighters answered the 6:30 a.m. call with four trucks. Faro assisted with about 12 volunteers, and Antioch assisted with about 10 firefighters.

The shop, owned by Billy Martin and Jonathan Martin of Eureka, was valued at $50,000. The contents, Brock said, were worth at least $75,000. Damage to the office was put at $500.

Brock said a man smelled something when he opened his store next door. The Martins' mother who lives nearby called in the fire to 911 dispatchers.

When firefighters arrived, the building was engulfed in flames. No one was injured.

The blaze was the first major fire for Eureka volunteers in about 18 months, Brock said.