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Cars catch fire in Richmond parking lot

Posted at 7:01 AM, Aug 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-23 12:44:49-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Investigators are working to figure out what caused a car to catch fire and thousands of dollars in damage early Tuesday morning in Richmond's Fan District.

The SUV was parked at Chapman's Certified Auto Repair along the 2700 block of West Broad Street, near Boulevard.

The fire spread, damaging five vehicles in Greg Thaxton's parking lot around 5 a.m.

Broad car fire 01

"Four out of the five cars belong to my customers," Thaxton said. "The only one of mine is the Rodeo that got the worse of the damage."

Thaxton estimated that the fire caused nearly $8,000 in damage.

Richmond Fire Captain Rodney Epps said they aren't calling the fire suspicious and said there isn't any indication it was intentionally set.

Chad Bryant said he and his wife were woken up in their home across the alleyway.

"We were asleep and all of a sudden we heard a loud pop," Bryant said. "The smoke even got into our nursery."

Neighbors reported seeing at least two fires lit in the alley over the last several weeks, but the business owner does not believe his shop was targeted.

"I don’t think it was intentional, just an unfortunate accident I believe," Thaxton said.

Firefighters were able to bring the flames under control before they reached any buildings. A portion of West Broad Street was closed while fire crews battled the car fire.

This is a developing story. Anyone with additional information can send a news tip here.