BRIDGTON — An automotive repair business on South High Street was destroyed in a fire of unknown origin Wednesday night, said Deputy Chief Tim Cook of the Bridgton Fire Department.

The fire at Johnson’s Garage in the Sandy Creek neighborhood was spotted by a passer-by and reported at 6:23 p.m., he said. The State Fire Marshal’s Office is expected to be at the scene Thursday to investigate the cause.

“We had an explosion in the building that took out all the glass and the overhead doors,” shortly after firefighters arrived, Cook said. Four minutes later, the roof of the approximately 40- by 60-foot building caved in, he said.

One firefighter was injured when he fell on the ice, Cook said, and was taken to a hospital and treated and released. He was not identified.

The owner of the garage, Lee Johnson of Bridgton, was at the scene, said Cook, who used to work there. He estimated the business had been in operation at least 30 years.

He did not know whether the property was covered by insurance.

About three dozen firefighters from Bridgton, Harrison, Naples and Sebago battled the blaze at the corner of South High Street and Route 107. Bridgton firefighters were holding a work session at their station when the call came in, the deputy chief said.

“Fortunately, he didn’t have any vehicles in there, except his son’s motorcycle,” Cook said.


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