Thick smoke rises from fire near Lindbergh Field at Diko Auto Repair. Image via OnScene TV.

Updated at 7:40 p.m. Dec. 19, 2017

A fire of unknown origin gutted a Midway-area auto-repair shop Tuesday, causing an estimated $1 million worth of damage and sending a thick column of black smoke into the air near Lindbergh Field.

The non-injury blaze at Diko Auto Repair in the 4000 block of Pacific Highway erupted shortly before 8:30 a.m., according to the San Diego Fire- Rescue Department.

Firefighters arrived to find flames shooting from the roof. A water-dropping helicopter was called in to help battle the intense blaze along with fire engines and water tankers.

It took the personnel nearly two hours to fully subdue the fire.

“A structural engineer (then) evaluated the building and determined that it would have to be red-tagged — no one allowed inside — until there is further inspection,” SDFRD spokeswoman Monica Munoz said. “Further inspection can possibly take place in the next couple of days.”

Investigators were working to determine what caused the fire. which resulted in about $750,000 in structural damage and destroyed roughly $25,000 worth of contents. The building also housed a second business, a boat repair shop.

Firefighters remained at the site of the blaze, dousing hot spots, into the afternoon.

“We are going to keep two crews there until sunset and at that time will decide whether we have to keep a crew there overnight to watch and make sure nothing starts back up again,” Munoz said at midafternoon.

— City News Service

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