UPDATE: Two firefighting departments responded Thursday morning to a fire at Steve Ray's Midnight Oil service station on Lee Highway in Ooltewah.

Firefighters with the Tri-Community Volunteer Fire Department arrived on the scene first and were joined by the Chattanooga Fire Department. 

Teams reported heavy fire and smoke coming from the rear of the structure when they first arrived.

The fire damage was contained to the shop area, but there was some smoke and water damage to the office according to CFD Battalion Chief Charlie Thomason. 

The rest of the building and gas pumps were all spared from the fire. 

The dollar loss was estimated at $300,000, but the quick work by the firefighters saved a business worth $1.5 million said CFD spokesman Bruce Garner.

Owner Steve Ray told firefighters that he and some employees were draining a gas tank and he thought he had plenty of ventilation to keep the fumes from building up. 

But the fumes apparently found an ignition source and a fire broke out. 

Ray said he tried to use portable fire extinguishers to put the fire out, but they were ineffective and they had to get out and call 911. 

Ray took the damage from the fire in stride. "I'm just glad no one got hurt," said Ray. "I have insurance and things can be replaced." A fire investigator confirms that the cause of the fire appears accidental, but what exactly sparked the blaze remains under investigation.

Chattanooga police, Hamilton County EMS and the Hamilton County 911 Incident Management Team also provided assistance on the scene. 

The haz-mat team was also called in to help clean up petroleum products that had leaked out during the fire. 

Steve Ray's Midnight Oil has been in business for 35 years in Ooltewah. 


PREVIOUS STORY: Chattanooga firefighters extinguished a fire at Steve Ray's Midnite Oil gas station on Lee Highway in Ooltewah Thursday morning. A large plume of smoke was visible for miles away.

The station is owned by Steve Ray, a well-known Ooltewah figure.

There's no word yet on damage to the business. The Chattanooga Department says there were no injuries/