A passing driver discovered the fire shortly before 8 p.m. Thursday.

Thursday night’s fire that damaged a Leipsic business was accidental, according to Assistant State Fire Marshal Michael G. Chionchio.

The blaze at Carey's Diesel, 168 Denny St., on Route 9, was reported shortly before 8 p.m.

A passing driver discovered the fire.

When the Leipsic Volunteer Fire Company arrived, the fire was burning inside the building. Neighboring fire companies were called to assist.

Investigators from the State Fire Marshal's Office determined that the blaze began in a piece of operating machinery inside the shop and spread through the roof, Chionchio said.

Damage was estimated at $100,000. There were no injuries.

"Thank God for the local fire companies," said owner John Carey, who started the business about 57 years ago. "They were here within minutes."

He said along with Leipsic, crews from Little Creek and Cheswold assisted, with firefighters from Smyrna and Camden-Wyoming as well.

A Camden-Wyoming firetruck undergoing engine work was in one of the garage bays during the fire, but there was no damage to it beyond soot from the smoke.

"Smoke was every place in the building," said Carey.

His neighbor, who could see the flames, alerted him about the fire while Carey was finishing dinner at his home nearby.

"We're lucky the building's still here. A few minutes later, it might have been burned to the ground," Carey said.

The business is open, but only two of the six garage bays are operational because the electricity is out in four.

"We're going to work around it," Carey said. "We might have to do some work outside."

He said no vehicles were in the area where the fire was, but some engines the staff was working on were damaged, along with equipment, including a machine that cleans engine blocks called a hot tank, valued at about $40,000.

"We're going to need a whole new roof, and it melted a lot of electrical conduit," Carey said.

The business employs a staff of 14.