NOVATO (CBS SF) — Firefighters extinguished a two-alarm fire Saturday afternoon in Novato that started when the owner of a Chevrolet Nova started his car.

Firefighters responded at 4:47 p.m. to a fire in a detached garage in the 700 block of Cherry Street, according to fire officials.

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The owner of the Nova was working on the car inside the garage when he started it and smelled a chemical odor, fire officials said.

He shut the car off. When he started it again the engine exploded and caught fire, according to fire officials.

The car’s owner escaped and a neighbor called 911, fire officials said.

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Firefighters kept the fire from spreading to the adjacent home, which was only two feet from the garage, according to fire officials.

Firefighters had the fire under control at 5:12 p.m. and limited the damage to about $100,000, fire officials said.

The fire in the garage spread to a hillside and burned half an acre before firefighters extinguished it, according to fire officials.

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