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Fire Roars Through South Atherton Street Gas Station, No Injuries Reported

by and on February 03, 2015 12:50 PM

A State College gas station and service garage was the site of an intense fire on Tuesday afternoon.

Flames engulfed the Mobil station and garage, located at 705 South Atherton Street, late Tuesday morning. The fire shortly spread to a nearby office building that houses the State College office of the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Police and firefighters closed South Atherton Street as they battled the blaze, which sent acrid black smoke billowing into the sky above State College. The distinct smell of burning rubber hung in the air as crews fought the fire in frigid twenty degree weather.

The fire was extinguished shortly after 12:30 p.m., when authorities were preparing to reopen one lane of South Atherton Street.

Despite extensive damage, both affected buildings were successfully evacuated and no injuries were reported. Authorities do not yet have an estimate on the value of the damage, but the gas station appears to have been gutted by the flames.

Police say that garage employees were working on a vehicle inside the one of the bays when the fire started. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but police say that gasoline may have ignited in the garage before spreading to the rest of the building.

At least one vehicle was inside the garage at the time of the fire.

Steve Bauer was the Managing Editor of Steve and his wife Trina are longtime area residents. They reside in State College along with a wacky Golden Retriever named Izzy.

Michael Martin Garrett is a reporter and editor for who covers local government, the courts, the arts and writes the Keeping the Faith column. He's a Penn State alumnus, a published poet and the bassist in a local indie rock band.
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