Fire officials: Motorcycle backfire sparked blaze that ravaged Lee’s Cycle Service in Wyoming

By Travis Kellar - | March 18th, 2016 4:29 pm

WYOMING — Officials say a fire that ravaged a motorcycle shop on Wyoming Avenue Friday started as a mechanic was working on one of the vehicles.

Crews were dispatched at 10:38 a.m. to Lee’s Cycle Service at 2007 Wyoming Ave. for a report of a commercial structure fire. Emergency broadcasts indicated at the time flames were visible from the roof.

Wyoming Fire Chief Daniel Zavada arrived to find heavy smoke billowing from the building.

“You couldn’t even see down Wyoming Avenue,” he said.

Crews temporarily closed all four lanes of Wyoming Avenue as crews battled the blaze. Zavada said an employee was working on a motorcycle in the rear of the business and, when the employee attempted to start the motorcycle, the vehicle backfired and sparked the blaze.

Zavada said the employee tried to put the fire out using a fire extinguisher but they extinguisher failed and the fire spread. Despite fears about numerous chemicals kept in the building, Zavada said they were kept in a separate room of the business and were not affected by the fire.

“That wasn’t a concern,” he said. “We did have a little bit of runoff with gas, but not enough to be of any concern.”

Emily Lee, a co-owner of Lee’s Cycle Service, said the business owned by her and her husband, Juston, has been operational for five years. She said employees were able to get some of the motorcycles out but she called the fire “tragic.”

Juston declined comment.

Zavada said crews were able to put the fire out within 30 minutes, and the building appeared to be “totaled” with fire damage in the rear and heavy smoke and water damage in the front.

“For the most part, I think it’s shot,” Zavada said.

He added the employee working on the motorcycle sustained minor burn injuries to his hands, but declined medical attention on the scene.

Fire crews from Forty Fort, Jenkins Township, Swoyersville, West Wyoming, West Pittston and Kingston assisted on the scene.

A man runs toward Lee’s Cycle Service on Wyoming Avenue in Wyoming after a fire broke out Friday morning. man runs toward Lee’s Cycle Service on Wyoming Avenue in Wyoming after a fire broke out Friday morning. Clark Van Orden | Times Leader
Lee’s Cycle Service building totaled by fire

By Travis Kellar

Reach Travis Kellar at 570-991-6389 or on Twitter @TLNews.