MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Police say the fire that happened inside a Duluth, Minn., auto shop was no accident.

A roaring fire destroyed Peerless Collision Center on Monday.

The Duluth News Tribune reports a suspected burglar is to blame.

They say a man, Kevin Luick, broke into the auto shop looking for money and cigarettes.

Police said he told them he accidentally started the fire with the lighter he was using to snoop around.

The newspaper said Luick, 25, had been drinking and smoking pot that night.

He’s charged with a string of crimes now from everything from third-degree burglary to theft of a motor vehicle, starting a negligent fire, felony theft and tampering with a motor vehicle.

Peerless’ owner, Rob Rabold, estimates about 30 vehicles were in the building when the fire started. The shop employs six people, including Rabold.

More than two-dozen firefighters fought the blaze in cold weather. Some firefighters fell in the icy conditions but there were no serious injuries.


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