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PORTLAND Nearby residents were evacuated while firefighters battled a three-alarm blaze at an auto repair shop in Northeast Portland Sunday night.

The commercial fire started around 9:30 p.m. at German Formula Inc., located at 100 NE 11th Avenue. Billowing smoke could be seen from nearly a mile away.

TriMet buses were used to help evacuate people living and working nearby, due to noxious smoke. People were able to return to their homes and workplaces before 2 a.m.

Firefighters cut their way into the building but then had to pull back when they heard explosions inside. It wasn't until four hours later that they confirmed the blaze was out.

Investigators are still trying to determine what sparked the blaze.

No one was injured.

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