Ohio Fire Marshal Investigating Blaze at St. Clairsville Car Dealership

Photo by Casey Junkins Firefighters with the Cumberland Trail Fire Department respond to the AutoBoss vehicle dealership along National Road east of St. Clairsville Monday morning. A fire destroyed two trucks, while a third sustained body damage from the exposure.

John Marhefka has seen a lot during his decades in the automobile business, but Monday marked the first time he saw two pickup trucks on his lot completely gutted by a blaze of unknown origin.

Marhefka arrived at the scene at the AutoBoss vehicle dealership Monday morning to find Cumberland Trail firefighters applying water to the trucks on his lot, located east of St. Clairsville along National Road. By this point, however, the two trucks had been destroyed, while a third sustained body damage from the flame exposure.

“I have no idea,” Marhefka said. “It was an intense fire, for sure.”

The lost trucks included a GMC Sierra and a Chevrolet Silverado, while another Silverado saw some damage from the flames.

Marhefka said he hoped some of the loss would be covered by insurance.

The fire, which apparently began between 7-8 a.m. Monday, created a large blaze and a plume of dark smoke that could be seen at least as far away as the Sheetz along National Road.

Kelly Stincer, spokeswoman for the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s Office, confirmed Monday afternoon her office is investigating the matter.

“It’s in the very early stages at this point, but we are looking into it,” she said.


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