It didn’t take long for an estimated $100,000 worth of classic cars, including two Corvettes and a 1989 Pontiac Trans Am, to go up in flames Thursday afternoon in Dakota City, Iowa.
The fire erupted when a man working on one of the vehicles inside the garage tried to start the vehicle and it backfired. Sparks then caught a piece of cardboard on fire.
The wind fed the flames quickly, according to Humboldt Volunteer Fire Chief Jim Gronbach. “When we approached,” he said, “the garage was totally engulfed.”
Gronbach said a nearby house and storage shed were a major concern for firefighters. Radiant heat wound up melting the siding on the storage shed.
Despite the fact that firefighters were able to knock down the fire in about 15 minutes, the vehicles – three inside the garage and one on the outside of the building – were a total loss, including what looks like a C3 in one of the photos from the scene.
Don Ukena of Dakota City, who was working on a car inside the garage, suffered minor burns and was treated at Humboldt County Memorial Hospital.
The Humboldt Volunteer Fire Department and Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department responded to the blaze.
Jeff Feaster, a Humboldt volunteer firefighter, estimated the value of the cars at about $100,000, depending on condition.