The cause of the incident is yet to be established, but authorities believe the inferno started near the dealership entrance around 12.45am on May 9, located on Mainstreet, Elenville. Filming had reportedly finished only 90 minutes beforehand.
No less than 15 fire crews from surrounding counties tackled the emergency head on. However, despite an 11-hour fight to subdue the flames, 613 Automotive Group suffered total destruction.
Cars claimed by the furnace included various American classics. Several circa 1990 Chevrolet Corvettes and Camaros were incinerated during the incident, supplied to the HBO production crew via a film-car company owned by Automobile Magazine New York bureau chief Jamie Kitman.
Further losses include a C1500 pickup, a 454 SS pickup and a super-low-mileage 1990 Chevrolet Beretta Indy Pace Car replica.
The 613 Automotive Group used-car dealership was dressed as a Chevrolet/Pontiac/Oldsmobile/Isuzu showroom for the miniseries starring Mark Ruffalo and Juliette Lewis. The story partially takes place in October of 1990 and is currently scheduled for broadcast later this year.
Alongside the loss of various classic collector cars, firefighters could only watch as HBO’s filming equipment caught alight. Production of the TV series, based on Wally Lamb’s novel of the same name, has been temporarily shut down as a result.
Despite the evident loss of the entirety of the business, fortunately no one was injured. Families from the surrounding areas have been displaced for safety precautions, while roads surrounding the showroom are closed for public safety.
The general manager, Chris Busby, commented: “The business is a total loss.” He continued: “There’s nothing left, it’s a huge loss for us and HBO. They are just as heartbroken as we are.”
“The whole front side of the building where the showrooms were ... fire was coming out of the windows and it progressed back through the garage rapidly," Ellenville Fire Chief John Avery told Spectrum News.
Investigations into the blaze are ongoing.