Firefighters from six area departments battled a Sunday morning blaze that destroyed an auto repair business on East Seventh Street.

A column of smoke could be seen for miles around as fire destroyed the Green Flag Auto and Dent Shop, 4887 E. Seventh St., Joplin, and at least two vehicles inside.

The business has a Joplin mailing address but is located outside the Joplin city limits, putting it in the Duenweg Rural Fire Protection District.

Duenweg Assistant Fire Chief Ron King said the call came in at 11:10 a.m. and that firefighters were on scene until shortly before 4 p.m.

No one was injured, but the building and its contents were destroyed.

“We had a lot of smoke showing from the roof when we pulled up,” King said. “Along with Joplin Fire Department, we made an entry attack through the back door, and the fire had completely spread through the whole building. It was a lot of fire.”

King said firefighters from Webb City, Carterville, Oronogo, Carthage and Redings Mill also responded with manpower and equipment.

King said the contents of the building made fighting the fire harder.

“There was a 500-gallon oil tank in there and lots of tires,” King said. “There were several vehicles in there too.”

Investigators with the Missouri Department of Public Safety were called in to investigate. An investigator at the scene said he couldn’t make any comment about the fire.

King said the business owner, Brad Baird, told him he believed the fire started in one of the vehicles parked inside the business.

“He saw it on one of his security cameras and the fire was burning in one of the vehicles,” King said.

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