Officials: Reno Sports Vehicle Store Fire Was Arson

(The Associated Press made an error in the first story, saying the fire started at StorTyme Storage; that has now been fixed in this version to indicate that firefighters protected StorTyme.)

RENO, Nev. (AP) - Investigators say arson was the cause of a fire that destroyed a number of vehicles in a storage building in south Reno.

The fire sent up a plume of thick black smoke that could be seen for miles away and caused a traffic jam on U.S. Highway 395 during Thursday evening's rush hour.

Fire spokesman Steve Frady says it started about 5:40 p.m. Firefighters had it knocked down just before 6:30.

The blaze destroyed several all-terrain vehicles and watercraft in the metal building behind Michael's Reno Powersports on South Virginia Street.

Frady says the fire was hot and toxic. It produced dense black smoke due to the plastic, fiberglass, rubber and light metals involved. Frady said that made it "almost impossible" for firefighters but they were successful in keeping the flames from spreading to a neighboring storage facility.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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