Three people were killed and one hospitalized after a large explosion and fire at an auto shop in Ohio on Tuesday, officials said.

WXIX reports Highland County dispatch said the fire started around 4 p.m. at Jimbo’s Auto Shop on 502 S. High St. in the Hillsboro area. Black smoke from the explosion and fire could be seen for miles as the blaze fully engulfed the building.

Fire crews had to rescue those inside, and they were seen loading a man into an ambulance. Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire Chief David Manning said the victim who was taken to the hospital is in stable condition.


The fire chief said crews felt the force of the explosion from as far as four blocks away at their firehouse.

The fire burned for several hours before it was extinguished around midnight. Firefighters had to contended with frigid conditions while battling the blaze, and Hillsboro city workers applied salt to nearby soaked roadways to prevent them from freezing over. Some roads in the area were also closed for several hours.

The cause of the explosion remained under investigation Wednesday. The State Fire Marshal’s Office is the leading the probe, and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration will also investigate. Hillsboro is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Cincinnati.