Man Admits to Starting Fire that Gutted VA Beach Storage Unit

Posted: 7/8/2016

Man admits to starting fire that gutted storage unit fire

Virginia Beach, VA -- A man accidentally set his car on fire that was stored within a storage unit.

The flames quickly spread to several other storage units around 11am on Thursday.  When firefighters arrived, they found heavy smoke coming from the building.

Anthony Coley reported that he rented three storage units at Ocean Self Storage for over ten years.  On Thursday, he was working on his 1978 Cavalier when the carburetor backfired.

"When the carburetor caught on fire, the fuel air filter and all of that caught fire.  The carburetor was flooded out and the fire just spread," said Coley.  A few seconds later, the gas tank exploded.

Coley attempted to stop the fire from spreading by using a fire extinguisher.

"It was a big boom and big ball of fire," said Coley.  "After that, I knew I couldn't do anything."

The Virginia Beach Fire Department said the crews battled the blaze for over an hour as the fire ripped through cars, furniture, and industrial supplies.  "Everything you could imagine in there to fuel a fire is in there," said Art Kohn, fire department spokesman.  "However, that fire started, it did not have any trouble to keep going."

Coley lost three cars, tools, and twenty years of collectibles.  He estimates his loss at about $100,000.

Read the full story here. 

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