A remodeling project may be at the root of a house fire that left a red 1973 Corvette Coupe badly damaged in a garage in Johnstown, N.Y. on Thursday afternoon.
A 911 call by an electrician who smelled smoke while he was working at the home may have saved the rest of the building, however.
Firefighters from Johnstown and Gloverville responded within five to seven minutes of the call and were able to knock down the flames before the blaze could spread to the living quarters.
While the house suffered some smoke damage, it’s still habitable. The garage suffered minor damage, and it’s hard to tell from the photos taken at the scene how badly the Corvette was damaged. At least the rear of the car maintained its shape, although the left tail lights appear to have melted and there was black soot visible along the top of the rear end section.
Homeowner Sandra DiDonna said a Johnstown company had been remodeling a bathroom for her for a couple of days, noting that workers had placed insulation and some tools in the garage before the fire began. The Corvette had not been driven in a while, and Johnstown Fire Chief Bruce Heberer said the fire “definitely didn’t start” in the car.
The owner of the remodeling company said he didn’t have any idea about the cause of the fire, saying that it was the first time in 40 years he had ever had a problem like this.
“It makes you sick, not so much for me, but for my homeowners,” said Jim Belknap, owner of Budget Exteriors. He said the company is fully insured.
The Leader-Herald/Al Vieira
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