Fire destroys shop

Multiple departments battle blaze at Bane Auto in Wingate


WINGATE — An explosion at about 10:45 a.m. Wednesday in Wingate was the first sign of distress for owners of an auto repair shop.   

When firefighters arrived at Bane Auto LLC, owned by Colton Bane, at 108 E. Wabash St., they found the metal structure fully engulfed by fire and black smoke pouring from it. Crews quickly concentrated on extinguishing the flames and protecting nearby property.

Coal Creek Fire and Rescue Chief Darren Forman was first on the scene. He said nearby residents had reported an explosion and immediately saw black smoke with a flame inside the structure.

“When I arrived on scene there was already a lot of smoke and flames inside the building,” Forman said. “I started calling in other units for assistance right away.”

Forman said in addition to the flames and smoke, several other explosions occurred while firefighters worked to contain the blaze. He said since the structure was an auto shop it contained propane tanks and various petroleum products. The building also housed several tires which contributed to the heavy smoke that could be seen for miles.

Bane’s wife, Brittany, was inside the structure at the time of the initial explosion, but was able to escape the building unharmed.

Her husband was running errands in Crawfordsville when the fire started. He immediately returned to Wingate when notified of the fire.

Forman said two firefighters were treated at the scene for exhaustion.

The building, which housed the first Bane Equipment, was built in the 1960’s by Bob Bane. It is a complete loss. The fire also destroyed a few customer vehicles that were inside.

Firefighters were able to get the blaze under control at 11:50 a.m. They remained on scene for several hours after dousing hot spots and assisting in the clean up. All units were cleared from the scene at 2 p.m.

Fire departments responding to the incident included Coal Creek Fire and Rescue, Crawfordsville Fire/EMS Department, Waynetown Volunteer Fire Department, Hillsboro Fire Department and Mellott Volunteer Fire Department. Representatives from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Management Agency of Montgomery County also were on hand.

Due to the nature of the contents in the building Forman requested the Indiana Department of Environmental Management  inspect the scene. Representatives were scheduled to arrive in Wingate on Wednesday afternoon.

Forman said the nearby Ceres Solutions facility provided additional water during the firefighting effort.

Forman said the cause of the fire was due to an exploding propane tank. Foul play is not suspected.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here