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Gas Fire Destroys Canaan Garage

Canaan — No one was injured but a Canaan man lost the bulk of his home-based auto repair business in a fire Saturday evening.

In all roughly 30 firefighters from a half dozen towns helped to battle the blaze that started in a garage shortly before 6:30 p.m. at 437 Choate Road.

Homeowner Michael Braley was removing a gas tank from a vehicle he was working on when the fire started, said Canaan Fire Chief Bill Bellion. Though Braley had emptied gas from the tank into a nearby bucket, he dropped the empty tank on the floor which caused a spark that ignited the fumes coming from the bucket of gas, Bellion said.

The fire spread quickly and consumed the 14-by 20-foot garage, destroying Braley’s vehicle lift and all of the tools in the garage. Bellion explained that Braley makes a living repairing vehicles in the two garages on his property, where his home is also located.

The garage where the fire started was a complete loss. A second, larger garage located about eight feet away also caught fire as well as a neighbor’s fence, before firefighters were able to get control of the blaze.

The second garage had severe damage, but Braley’s home was untouched.

— Melanie Plenda