SAN CARLOS (AP).- A fire at a San Francisco Bay area warehouse where singer-songwriter Neil Young stored memorabilia started in a vintage car the singer had converted into a hybrid vehicle in a much publicized project to promote fuel-efficiency, authorities said.
Belmont-San Carlos Fire Marshal Jim Palisi told the San Mateo County Times on Monday that the Nov. 9 fire began in Young's 1959 Lincoln Continental convertible and spread to the warehouse.
Fire crews were able to save about 70 percent of the 10,000-square-foot building's contents, including other vintage cars, guitars and framed photos belonging to Young.
The blaze caused an estimated $850,000 in damage to Young's possessions and damaged his car, dubbed the LincVolt. The building suffered another $250,000 in damage, Palisi said.
No one was injured.
Young had converted the car to run on batteries and a biodiesel-powered generator as part of a project to create the world's most efficient full-size vehicle.
The white, 20-foot long, 5,000-pound car's journey from gas guzzler to hybrid was chronicled on the website LincVolt.com and in a four-part film series. The website also allowed people to track the vehicle's vital statistics, including its speed, on its various trips.
In a statement released Tuesday, Young blamed the fire on human error and said he and his team were committed to rebuilding the car.
"The wall charging system was not completely tested and had never been left unattended. A mistake was made. It was not the fault of the car," he said.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.