Fire Destroys Downtown Car Dealership

JONESBORO, AR -- Around 10:45 Thursday morning firefighters responded to a call at 300 West Huntington Avenue in downtown Jonesboro.  When they arrived, they found the shop buildings of the Cavenaugh Lincoln-Mercury dealership fully involved.

"We were just working and one thing led to another.  A car caught on fire and boom there it is," said Cavenaugh employee Kevin Anderson.

"Just a slip of a bald nut wrench with a fuel tank," said Cavenaugh employee Curt Bryant.

"We know it started on a car that was on a lift so we were unable to get the car down off the lift," said Cavenaugh Marketing and Public Relations Director Bill Little.

There were eight cars in the service area and two others in the show room when the fire started.  Workers used the fire extinguishers inside to try to put the fire out.

Owner Don Cavenaugh said he's never had anything like this happen before.

"We don't know what the loss is going to be yet.  We won't know until we get the fire put out and get a chance to look at it," said Cavenaugh.

As for the cars inside Cavenaugh said they've talked to their insurance company and the owners of those cars will be contacted by Friday.

On Thursday afternoon, Bill Little issued the following statement about the Cavenaugh Lincoln-Mercury Dealership.

"The Cavenaugh Lincoln Mercury dealership in downtown Jonesboro was extensively damaged by fire at approximately 10:00am this morning.  While the building and most of the contents were lost, none of our employees were injured in the blaze.  Employees did everything possible to contain the fire before evacuating the building.  They all should be commended for their efforts.  The fire apparently started in the shop area and quickly spread to the rest of the building.  The main thing is that no one got hurt and we will be back in business at a new location as soon as we can make an assessment.  In the mean time, all Lincoln Mercury service questions should be referred to the Cavenaugh Ford dealership in Black Rock at 1-800-844-7283.  I would like to thank everyone that helped, especially members of the Jonesboro Fire Department, for their efforts."