Video shows how Buff Whelan fire began

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News
Sterling Heights firefighters battle a fire at Buff Whelan Chevrolet on Van Dyke on Tuesday night. Fire crews, with help from Clinton and Shelby townships, tended the blaze, which may have started when floors were being scrubbed, fire officials said.

The Buff Whelan Chevrolet dealership in Sterling Heights has released the surveillance video revealing what caused the massive fire on Tuesday night.

WXYZ reported after the dealership officials heard the 911 call between the operator and the cleaning contractor, they decided to release the video.

During the 911 call, the worker originally said he was scrubbing the floor and was not aware of the gas before it caught fire. Then said he knew there was gas on the floor and tried to clean around it.

The surveillance shows the worker knocking over a gas tank and trying to clean the mess with his bare hands. He continued to clean the floor with an electric buffer and as he went over the gas with the machine, it caught fire and burned his arm.

Investigators are still labeling this as an accident and the condition of the worker has not been released. Sterling Heights police and fire departments were unable to comment or release updates.

Buff Whelan is one of the largest Chevrolet dealerships in the country and general manager Jack Bos previously said about 50 cars are believed to have been damaged, overall.

The dealership is continuing operations in their sales departments and will continue with oil changes.

“From all of us at Buff Whelan, we would like to express our sincere thanks to the firefighters and first responders who worked tirelessly to put out the fire in our service department,” the dealership announced on their site.