SEPTA imposes speed restrictions near fire at North Philly auto body shop

Tim Jimenez
March 11, 2019 - 7:17 am

UPDATED: 9:34 a.m.

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Fire tore through an auto body shop in North Philadelphia early Monday morning. The fire affected nearby SEPTA service.

The fire started around 2 a.m. at the shop and junkyard at Sedgley and Allegheny avenues. 

"We believe it started in the rear at a pile of tires and rubbish and extended into the building," said Deputy Philadelphia Fire Chief James Renninger.

He says they didn’t want crews too close because of the potential for danger.

"We don’t want to lose any firefighters. You can imagine: An auto body shop has oxy-acetylene torches, fuel, chemicals. If something were to explode with any of our personnel in there, it could be hazardous," Renninger said.An insurance office and wholesale market that are connected to the auto body shop were also affected by the flames and smoke, and water from the hoses. 

The fire was close to Amtrak train tracks, which SEPTA also uses for the Chestnut Hill West and Trenton regional rail lines. SEPTA says trains that passed through the area were on a speed restriction. 

"We’re concerned about visibility for the engines passing through the smoke," Renninger said.

SEPTA’s Route 60 bus was also detoured.

No one was hurt. The cause of the fire is under investigation.