A fire at a Sudbury luxury car dealership early Monday morning damaged 19 cars, eight of which were completely destroyed.
The Sudbury Fire Department responded at 1:07 a.m. to the Herb Chambers Land Rover dealership after a passerby reported the blaze. The Marlborough Fire Department also arrived on the scene.
No people were injured, but many of the cars were burnt beyond recognition, according to Sudbury Fire Department spokesperson John M. Guilfoil, making it difficult to determine even their model. The flames apparently began in a Jaguar and spread to Land Rovers, Range Rovers, Jeeps and Jaguars. Five of the cars suffered only minor effects.
Damage is estimated at over $500,000. Some of the cars were worth over $70,000 each.
It is unclear who owns all the cars. The Jaguar in which the fire began apparently belonged to a customer and was in for service. The fire started in the back of the lot, where cars are parked after being brought in for repairs.
Sudbury Fire Chief Bill Miles said it seems that some of the damaged cars were new, and others were not.
The U.S. auto repair industry generates approximately $58 billion in yearly revenue. Luxury cars, in addition to their high purchase prices, are often serviced at specialty dealerships and cost more to repair.
Herb Chambers, who owns the dealership, learned about the fire on the morning news. He expressed a hope that most of the damaged cars belong to the dealership, since its insurance would then cover damages.
He told a local TV station that his greatest concern is his customers, and that he’s grateful no one was hurt.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, and local fire and police will work with the state fire marshal to determine if it the blaze was an accident or intentionally set. Authorities are hoping to gather information from a neighboring dealership’s security cameras.
State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan declined to provide even a preliminary cause, saying he expects the investigation will continue for some time.
Sudbury is a wealthy suburb located in Boston’s MetroWest, part of Middlesex County.