Rochester firefighters were 'unknowingly at great risk' of 'very rapidly growing fire'

There was more than a thousand gallons of fuel in in the garage that caught fire.
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A garage fire in Rochester could've been much worse had firefighters not contained it when they did. 

According to Rochester Fire Department, the garage fire happened at about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday in the 1500 block of 19th Ave.

After dousing the flames, firefighters found approximately 1,100 gallons of highly flammable E85 fuel; there were nearly two dozen 55-gallon containers and one 200-gallon container. 

The fire remains under investigation and the Rochester Fire Department is calling it suspicious.

But the blaze could've been much worse, according to Fire Chief Eric Kerska. 

"It would have been a VERY rapidly growing fire—a dramatic event, that some might describe as an explosion," Kerska tells BMTN, noting that they got to the fire before the fuel ignited. 

"However, technically, an explosion by definition would have been unlikely. Because of the close proximity of homes, we probably would have had the loss of more than one home because of the fuel load and the large amount of firefighters, pumping capacity and water needed to mitigate such a large fire."

Kerska added that his firefighters "were unknowingly at great risk" because of the fuel. 

"While it goes with the job, it disappoints me that people can be so careless with the welfare of others," said Kerska. 

Nobody was injured in the fire, fortunately. 

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