BELGRADE — The owners of an auto repair shop on Dustin Drive lost their business and thousands of dollars of equipment in a fire Monday afternoon.

The fire at Ray’s Auto, which is owned by Ray Frappier and his brother-in-law, Percy French, was reported at around 3:15 p.m. Monday. When crews arrived at the scene the building was engulfed in flames, said Belgrade Fire Chief Dan MacKenzie. The garage is at 32 Dustin Drive, which is off Routes 8 and 11 in North Belgrade.

French had just eaten lunch and left the business about 25 minutes before the fire, he said.

“It was pretty slow so I decided to knock off early,” he said. “I ate my two hot dogs and said, ‘I’m out of here.'”

About 25 minutes later Frappier, who lives nearby, called and told him the garage was on fire. Frappier said his son had noticed that the Internet, which is connected to the house through the auto shop, went out.

“I looked out and saw the smoke,” Frappier said. “I tried going in but it was engulfed. There were explosions and flames. It was crazy.”


The cause of the fire will be investigated by the the state fire marshal, and it was not clear Monday afternoon what may have started it, MacKenzie said. He said there were no injuries reported and that the fire does not appear suspicious.

Frappier and French said they did not have insurance on the building, and they were not sure whether they will rebuild. The business was started in July 2000 by Frappier. French took over management about two years ago.

“We’ll be coming in tomorrow and sifting through what’s left,” French said. The two estimated that they lost at least $100,000 in equipment and materials.

“I spent more time there than in my house,” French said.

Firefighters from Fairfield, Oakland and Rome also responded.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm

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