A smoldering fire at 28 East 1330 South, possibly from a cigarette, started a blaze in the shop area of Western Alternator and Generator that was first noticed about 5:25 a.m. Friday.

A passing motorist saw one of the shop's overhead doors open and smoke coming from inside. He went to a fire station one block away and attempted to rouse firefighters. Another person saw the fire and called the fire department.Firefighters at the station "woke up to their gongs going off and people pounding on the door," said Battalion Chief Ren Egbert.

Egbert said the fire began smoldering in the seat of a one-ton truck that belongs to the business and was parked inside the shop.

The motorist who first spotted the fire believed the open door might have meant burglars were inside the building. But fire investigators believe the fire shorted out the automatic opener on the door, causing it to open. The fire ruined springs on the door and it dropped back down and locked before firefighters arrived.

Three vehicles inside the business were damaged, bringing the total damage estimate to $15,000, Egbert said.

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Another business, Western Battery, shares the building but was not damaged, he said.

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