New Year’s Eve blaze levels garage

Personnel from three fire departments battled a New Year’s Eve blaze in Hopewell Township.

Monday evening’s fire at 1027 Morgan Ave. started in a garage attached to an apartment.

The fire probably started due a car that was being worked on, Chief Harry Miller of Bascom Joint Fire District said. Catalytic converters were being removed from it, he said.

Bascom EMS, Bascom Joint Fire District, Clinton Township Volunteer Fire Department and NBS Fire responded to the fire. It was reported at 7:38 p.m., a Seneca County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman said.

Miller said there was a lot of heavy smoke when firefighters arrived at the scene, and he estimated the fire was under control in about 45 minutes.

The chief said the garage, which contained the junk car, gas cans, oxygen tanks, torches and propane tanks, was a loss. The residence suffered a lot of heat and smoke damage and was uninhabitable, he said.

He did not have a damage estimate at the scene Monday night.

Miller said the owner of the property is Vernon Hites. He said the resident of the apartment was not home at the time of the fire, and he thought the resident was going to stay with a friend.

No injuries were reported.