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Fire heavily damages Bellefonte garage

Firefighters combat a blaze Tuesday at Jim’s Garage, located along Valentine Hill Road in Spring Township. The garage, owned by Jim Waite, caught fire at about 6 p.m.
Firefighters combat a blaze Tuesday at Jim’s Garage, located along Valentine Hill Road in Spring Township. The garage, owned by Jim Waite, caught fire at about 6 p.m. CDT photos

Firefighters responded to the scene of a structure fire on Valentine Hill Road on Tuesday evening.

The fire was “well involved” by the time trucks arrived, after having been called at about 6 p.m., Bellefonte Fire Chief Tim Schreffler said. And due to a lack of hydrants in the immediate area, additional tankers were called in from Pleasant Gap, State College, Milesburg and Boalsburg.

Building owner Jim Waite, whose auto repair business, Jim’s Garage, was housed in the structure, said he was in the adjacent house when his daughter noticed smoke coming from the roof.

He said there were three vehicles in the garage as well as tools, hoists, two compressors — “everything,” he said.

Waite said he’s operated the business, at 296 Valentine Hill Road, for 42 years. He said he had no idea how the fire might have started.

The fire was mostly extinguished by about 6:45 p.m. But firefighters remained on the scene until the building cooled and an investigation into the cause could begin, Schreffler said.

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