A large fire destroyed several automotive repair shops in Grand Prairie Monday afternoon.
The shops were part of a plaza of several facilities on the 3400 block of East Main Street.
Assistant Fire Chief Bill Murphy told NBC 5 that when they arrived at the scene, the fire was so heavy that they could not enter the building. They had to fight the fire defensively, and part of the ceiling was already coming down.
He said the fire began when employees were welding in one of the automotive shops and there was gasoline in the area. They do not think anything is suspicious. They will have to demolish parts of the building.
The owner of the plaza, Ron Cornelius, was showing space to a prospective tenant when he saw the smoke and went into that business.
"I grabbed the hose and it was a car on fire with two of the wheels burning. Water didn't work real well putting out the tires," said Cornelius.
Cornelius says he ran out when he heard the fire trucks arriving at the scene.
Cornelius plans to rebuild, but fears many of his tenants did not have insurance and may lose everything.
At 4 p.m., officials said the building had been burned down to its frame and would be demolished.
Officials said they have found nothing suspicious regarding the origin of the fire.
NBC 5's Julie Fine contributed to this report.