Englewood auto body shop severely damaged in fire; 'nothing's left,' family says

CHICAGO (WLS) -- An Englewood auto body shop sustained major damage in an early morning fire Wednesday.

The fire is now all out, but there is a lot to clean up; the owner said he is relieved no one was hurt.

"Nothing's left, literally nothing it was a two story building -- down to the ground," the owner's daughter Alejandra Hernandez said.

The flames were massive, swallowing the auto body parts and collision shop early Wednesday.

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Owner Ignacio Hernandez arrived at 5 a.m. to open up and saw the flames. Before long, his business was fully engulfed, along with several cars inside.

"That was a lumber yard, so in the back of the building there was wood, like a garage, so we probably had 15 cars in the storage," he said.

Ignacio Hernandez moved this dual business, South Side Auto Collision and Chicago South Bumpers to 58th Street and Ashland Avenue in 2013 from Summit. He's been in the car parts industry for years, employing close to 20 people.

Even the COVID-19 pandemic didn't slow down the thriving business, but Hernandez said they will be shut down for at least a day.

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The majority of the fire damage affected the bumper-side of the business, leaving not much behind, but everyone got out without injury.

"Luckily no one was hurt, that is what is most important; everyone is safe," Alejandra Hernandez said. "That's the most important thing."

This is the second time the owner is facing difficulty. Just last month his business was broken into and items were taken.

Ignacio Hernandez said they do have insurance, and everything damaged will be covered.
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