SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – Fire destroyed the Classic Motors auto repair shop on Route 27 Thursday morning.

The shop, located on the Franklin Park side of Route 27 between Allston and New roads, became rapidly engulfed in flames around 9:30 a.m. after fuel ignited a drop light while the 68-year-old owner was working on a vehicle, according to Franklin Township Police.

The owner tried to extinguish the blaze, but the fire expanded quickly and soon was out of control, police said.

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Firefighters from Franklin Township, Rocky Hill and Kingston and Kendall Park in South Brunswick responded and fought the fire for an hour and a half before bringing it under control around 11 a.m., police said.

The owner was taken to an area hospital for smoke inhalation.

Route 27 remained closed throughout the early afternoon as firefighters continued to douse hot spots caused by a number of vehicles in the garage at the time the fire started, police said.

Firefighters from the Franklin Township Office of Fire Prevention were on the scene and conducting an investigation into the incident, police said.

Mutual Aid Coordinators from Somerset County and representatives from the Somerset County Haz-Mat Team were also on the scene as well, police said.

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