Crime - Sacto 911

Electrical fire blamed for destroying Sacramento auto repair shop

Flames engulf Japanese Imports Service & Repair in Sacramento

Sacramento Fire Department crews contain a major fire at a commercial building at 17th and J.
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Sacramento Fire Department crews contain a major fire at a commercial building at 17th and J.

The cause of a fire that destroyed an auto repair shop near downtown Sacramento on Easter was accidental and electrical in nature, according to the Sacramento Fire Department.

Chris Harvey, Fire Department spokesman, said Monday that the dollar amount of the damage had not been determined. The fire destroyed the service-bay area of Japanese Imports Service & Repair, 1617 J St.

Police reported that a man was detained in the area during the fire, but Harvey said that incident was not related.

The auto repair business is owned by Eric Mead and the building is owned by Sacramento Turn Verein, a German social club. Mead has operated his business at the northwest corner of 17th and J streets since for more than 20 years.

On Monday, all that remained of the service area were charred piles of rubble. Walls and the roof were gone.

Mead said he was tied up in meetings Monday and didn’t have time to talk about the future of the business. No one with Sacramento Turn Verein could be reached for comment Monday.

The fire broke out about 10 a.m. Sunday and was spotted by a fire engine crew that was passing by. Firefighters said they were particularly concerned about preventing the fire from spreading to nearby businesses, including Lucca Restaurant and Bar. The restaurant had to cancel Easter brunch because power was cut due to the fire.

Glenn Stewart, a manager at Lucca, said the fire marshal allowed the restaurant to reopen Sunday night.

“We’re open today and getting the carpets in the back room redone,” Stewart said Monday, noting that the restaurant suffered minor smoke damage. A brick fire wall prevented more severe damage, he said.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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