Among the cars destroyed in Thursday's fire of two auto businesses was a newly-refurbished 1969 Buick Electra.

Robert Armstrong Sr. said it was a "sweet" vehicle — a "deuce and a quarter," the length in inches (225) of the car.

He and his son, Bob Armstrong Jr., shook their heads knowing the car's owner, a man from Minnesota, would not be happy to learn of its demise in a fire Thursday morning that destroyed the building it was housed in at 142 N. Chicago Ave.

It was one of 10 vehicles MC Body Shop lost in the fire.

The Armstrongs said there also was a 1967 Dodge Capri, 1964 Chevy Impala and a 1979 Chevy Chevelle. Ramon Salgado is the shop's owner.

Robert Sr. said he worked at the shop for the past year-and-a-half. He said he's worked on cars such as the Electra and the others for 40 years.

"Well, I'm going to be looking for another job," he remarked.

The fire was spotted by police patrolling in the area shortly after 2 a.m. Flames already were shooting through the roof, which quickly came down.

On the west side, another 15 cars in Ty's Repairs shop were destroyed. Tyran Burns is the owner.

It took firefighters from around the county two hours to get the two-alarm fire under control.

Several explosions were heard during the fire.

Capt. Mike Casagrande, an investigator with the Kankakee Fire Department, said there were materials inside used by the businesses that likely caused the explosions.

Investigators have been unable to get inside the remains because of hot spots and debris causing safety issues.

The building, which was a total loss, once housed Key City Motors, a Chevrolet dealership, located at 609 E. Court St.

Kankakee Chief Ron Young said the front of the building was empty.

One firefighter was treated and released back to the scene, he said.