Fire at Sartell auto shop sends hundreds of gallons of oil, chemicals into Mississippi River

The fire happened at an auto shop in Sartell, Minnesota.
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A fire at an auto shop in Sartell sent hundreds of gallons of oil spilling into the Mississippi River. 

According to Sartell Police Department, the fire at Fouquette Auto was reported around 10:15 a.m. Tuesday, and upon arrival firefighters found the interior of the shop fully engulfed in flames. 

The owner of the business told police that oil from a fuel tank he was working on spilled onto the floor, and when the building's boiler turned on he saw a spark before a blue flame lit across the floor. 

An explosion then blew away one of the overhead garage doors. Fortunately, he was able to escape without injury and able to call for help. No one else was inside the building when the fire and explosion happened. 

Crews were able to put the fire out but not before chemicals and oil spilled into the storm drain and into the Mississippi River. According to the St. Cloud Times, approximately 550 gallons of oil went into the river. 

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The St. Cloud Hazmat Unit was called to the scene to help contain and clean up the spill, and an environmental extraction team was due to help clean up any contaminated water and debris. 

The fire caused an estimated $450,000 worth of damage to the building and property inside. 

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