Car Stereo Shop Fire Causes $1-Million Loss

A fire swept through an auto stereo and alarm installation shop in Reseda on Wednesday, causing about $1 million in damage, mostly to equipment and cars inside the business, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.

The fire at SNA Auto Sound Design in the 18500 block of Topham Street was reported at 4 a.m., said Jim Wells, department spokesman. About 40 firefighters controlled the fire in about half an hour.

"By the time we got there, the flames were already through the roof," Wells said.

The shop was in a 5,000-square-foot, one-story warehouse in an area where several other automotive businesses operate. An adjoining repair shop was undamaged by the fire and opened for business Wednesday.

The fire gutted the SNA shop and destroyed or damaged 20 cars, including several Mercedes-Benzes and Porsches parked inside awaiting installation work, officials said.

The cause of the blaze was not known, and fire investigators from the department and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms spent much of Wednesday picking through the rubble and shells of burned cars looking for clues.

Wells said ATF experts are routinely called in to help determine the cause of fires in which there are large losses. Officials estimated the SNA losses at $150,000 in damage to the structure and $850,000 to the cars and stereo equipment.

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