Fire destroys auto shop, cause caught on camera

Published: Aug. 28, 2018 at 10:22 PM EDT
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A business that's been run by the same family for generations went up in flames a little after 12 a.m. Tuesday.

A massive fire at Journey's General Repair in West Portsmouth left the shop and just about everything in it destroyed.

"You couldn't see anything for the smoke," neighbor Mike Defoe said.

Rusty Journey, the 63-year-old owner of the business, tells WSAZ he's worked there since 1971 when he was a teenager and his grandfather owned it.

"He's lost a lot here," Defoe said. "He's a good man."

Journey says he checked a security camera from across the street, and it showed a boat parked outside started sparking and caught fire, apparently due to an electrical issue.

He says it didn't take long for the fire to spread across the structure.

Journey is also a retired railroad worker and says he can get by without the auto shop, but he says he enjoys it, so he does plan to rebuild.

Journey had a toolbox in that garage he's owned for more than 40 years, and he says he's very grateful the contents in that toolbox do appear to be savable.

Neighbors credit firefighters with putting the flames out before they could spread to nearby homes.