A business owner’s livelihood has literally gone up in smoke after an early morning fire at a vehicle repair shop in Gravenhurst on Sunday.

Fire crews responded to the blaze at Dave’s Auto Repair on Highway 11 shortly after 7:00 a.m.

The owner, David Grass, says he was alerted to the fire after a passerby knocked on his door.

“I went out and looked, [and] it was on fire,” said Grass.

Fire officials say crews were able to get the fire under control quickly, but the structure of the building was challenging, “because all metal buildings like that,” said Gravenhurst Fire Chief Larry Brassard.

“As you can see metal clad structure, roof and sides makes it a bit more difficult to attack, [it] contains the heat.”

There were also concerns about the oil stored in the garage, and the impact on the environment.

“Rather than put water on that portion of the fire and flush the oil out of the building, going into the groundwater, we chose to let it burn,” said Brassard.

Officials say the damage is approximately $200,000 and the structure will likely have to be torn down.

Unfortunately for Grass, - who’s been a mechanic for more than 40 years and depended on his garage for his retirement - he didn’t have insurance.

“It’s devastating for Dave this morning,” said Brassard, “all his equipment has been lost.”

“I’ve lost my livelihood, but I’m trusting God in this,” says Grass.

Officials say the cause of the fire is undetermined and it’s not being considered as suspicious.