A driver in Fairfield, Connecticut, was lucky to get out of a single-car fire with his life. The car was moving down the onramp, to get onto I-95, when it suddenly erupted in flames. Fortunately, there were no other car accidents, as the other drivers on the ramp were able to stop before they slammed into the car, which came to a jarring halt. The driver of the vehicle then got out of his car and fled to the side of the road, removing himself from danger, to watch the car burn while he waited for the fire department to arrive. There was nothing more that could be done to save the vehicle.
When the firefighters arrived on the scene, they were able to put the fire out. No other vehicles were damaged, but the ramp was closed for an hour while all of this was taking place, leading to some traffic congestion. The fire department says that the cause of the fire is still being investigated, as it was not immediately clear. The car was burning mostly on the front end, well away from the gas tank, and it did not appear to have crashed into anything prior to the fire. This could indicate that it was some sort of an electrical problem, which may have been able to ignite either the gas or the oil that had already been pumped into the engine.
Unforeseen events like this often happen so quickly that other cars are drawn into them. This case was fortunate in that it does not appear at this time that another car was involved, but it would be very easy for a driver to run into the burning car, especially as it came to such a quick stop. There is no anticipating things like this, but good defensive driving tactics could be the difference between a multi-car accident and a single-car fire. Owners of the same vehicle — a Volkswagen Golf — will also be interested to see if there is a recall due to a fire hazard in the vehicle itself.
Source: Fairfield Citizen, “Driver escapes when car erupts in flames in Southport” No author given, Feb. 24, 2014