VIRGIN RIVER GORGE — A Los Angeles man was able to vacate his vehicle unharmed after his 1993 Toyota minivan caught fire on Interstate 15 at Arizona milepost 23, just north of the Cedar Pocket interchange Monday afternoon.
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Videocast by Lennie Bintliff, St. George News
The minivan was traveling southbound at about 3 p.m. MDT when the driver and single occupant of the vehicle noticed smoke in the cab of vehicle, pulled over, Littlefield Fire District Chief Jeff Hunt said.
St. George Fire Department was the first to respond, coming from its Station 8 near I-15 Utah Exit 2. The department has an automatic response agreement with the Beaver Dam-Littlefield Fire District to help with incidents north of Cedar Pocket, Hunt said.
“We really appreciate them coming down to help as we had to go north and turn around to get to the fire,” he said.
Minimal traffic moved through the area at the time and was temporarily backed up for 1 mile within the Virgin River Gorge until the fire was suppressed.
Heat of the fire reached several hundred degrees and burned clothes and books and burst watermelons in the vehicle, Hunt said.
“The vehicle was completely consumed,” he said. “All that was left was the shape of the vehicle. The fire was hot enough to melt aluminum and start magnesium on fire.”
It was extinguished within 45 minutes. St. George Fire dismissed the case to Beaver Dam-Littlefield Fire District in the aftermath. The cause of the fire was undetermined, Hunt said.
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- Vehicle fire impacts southbound I-15 just north of the Nevada state line
- Update: Vehicle fire triggers explosions, traffic jam in Gorge
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