The sight of heavy, gray smoke pouring out of several of the large, back and side garage doors of Silva’s Auto Body Shop along South C Street panicked people in the busy downtown area and prompted many calls to 911.
The incident happened about 4:30 Tuesday afternoon. The cause was determined to be an overheating electrical motor in a machine, and the fire was contained to the motor, according to Madera County Fire Capt. Les Russell. No injuries were reported.
The back working bay areas of the business were filled with thick smoke when firefighters arrived, Russell said, but employees had acted quickly, and their prompt use of the fire extinguishers had prevented any further electrical fire from starting, or spreading into the older, wooden building, he said.
Both City of Madera fire engines, stations 6 and 7, and one Madera County fire engine responded to the call, along with several volunteer firefighters...