A discarded cigarette may be to blame for a small but intense fire at an automotive maintenance shop that briefly disrupted traffic at a busy intersection in north Corvallis Monday morning.
Firefighters were dispatched at 9:36 a.m. to a fire in a metal storage locker in the parking lot at Jiffy Lube, 855 N.W. Circle Blvd.
The structure was used to store supplies such as motor oil and air filters but was also used by employees as a smoking area, according to Jacob Backer, a fire prevention officer with the Corvallis Fire Department.
“The cause of the fire appears to be associated with careless disposal of smoking material,” Backer said in a statement issued by the department Monday afternoon.
The fire was quickly extinguished, and no one was injured. Although the metal locker and its contents were severely damaged, the fire did not spread to the main building. The value of the loss was estimated at about $10,000.
The business sits at the corner of Circle Boulevard and Highway 99W, and the fire caused some inconvenience for motorists.
Emergency personnel temporarily blocked the westbound lanes of Circle between the highway and Ninth Street, but one lane had been reopened by 10 a.m. and the other was back in service a few minutes later.
Nine firefighters responded to the blaze with two fire engines and a ladder truck.
The Corvallis Police Department assisted with traffic management, and Corvallis Public Works set up containment booms to keep motor oil and other toxic materials from washing into the storm sewer.
Reporter Bennett Hall can be reached at 541-758-9529 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @bennetthallgt.