Burning vehicle ignites brush fire; well-timed deputy contains blaze

IVINS – A Washington County Sheriff’s deputy was at the right place at the right time Saturday night when he happened by a vehicle fire on state Route 18, near mile post 10, outside Snow Canyon State Park.

“He was the hero of the day,” Sgt. Dave Crouse, of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, said. “He was definitely in the right place at the right time.”

Sgt. Brock Bentley was traveling on SR-18 when he saw some people pushing a car to the shoulder of the road. Smoke and flames were coming out of the vehicle, Crouse said, and flames from the car ignited a brush fire. Bentley pulled a fire extinguisher from his vehicle and was able to put out the brush fire before it spread. He then used the extinguisher on the burning vehicle and started getting that fire under control, but the extinguisher finally ran out and the vehicle fire reignited.

“He used it first on the brush fire, which had the potential of spreading,” Crouse said.

Additional responders arrived and it took them about an hour total to get the scene cleaned up.

“There were officers directing traffic because the highway was down to one lane,” Codie Stark, of Santa Clara, said.

Stark said she was at the West Canyon Trailhead in Snow Canyon State Park when she saw smoke in the distance and drove up the canyon to the highway to look for the source.

“The flames were out when we got up there but they were still spraying the brush that had burned,” Stark said. “The car was completely black and the ground around it still smoking.”

The vehicle was a total loss, Utah Highway Patrol Public Information Officer Jacob Cox said. The vehicle was removed by truck and trailer rather than by tow truck. No injuries were reported.

Utah Highway Patrol is investigating the incident. The cause of the vehicle fire is not yet known.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by the authorities and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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  • Bing June 14, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    I had a car fire once, got stuck in cold weather had to start up car on fire to stay worm, glad no one was in it and it worked perfectly it help melt the snow around my pickup and I drove out, I always wondered what the other people thought when they got back to there burnt up car. But it did come in good use, just like some folks that’s moved into this cold place

  • Tammy June 15, 2014 at 8:26 am

    I wouldn’t be pushing a car that was on fire. lol

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