This story has been updated with additional information.
SOUTH SALEM, N.Y. -- The owner of South Salem Auto Repair was killed when the engine compartment of a vehicle he was working on caught fire on Wednesday, according to New York State Police.
James J. O’Connor, 48, of Brookfield, Conn., was working on a Volkswagen Golf at the repair shop's location on Old Oscaleta Road when the engine compartment ignited. O'Conner tried to put the blaze out with an extinguisher, but was unsuccessful, police said.
After attempting to extinguish the blaze with a fire extinguisher, O'Connor tried to save the structure from damage, pushing the car farther away, police said. The vehicle then side-swiped a parked car causing O’Connor to fall and become pinned between the two cars, according to police.
A neighbor who heard a loud noise and then saw flames after looking out the window called 911.
Officials have deemed the fire accidental, police said.
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