SUV’s engine compartment ignites as driver attempts to start it

A Ford Explorer is completely destroyed after a fire started in its engine component at a condominium parking lot in St. George, Utah, July 6, 2017 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A fire that started in an SUV’s engine compartment destroyed the vehicle as it burned in a condominium parking lot Thursday night.

Firefighters respond to a vehicle fire possibly caused by an electrical issue at a condominium parking lot in St. George, Utah, July 6, 2017 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

St. George Fire responded to the incident involving a Ford Explorer at approximately 9:36 p.m. near 800 South Village Rd. in St. George.

The SUV’s owner arrived hours earlier to visit family after a seven hour drive from Flagstaff, Arizona, St. George Fire Battalion Chief Ken Guard said.

The vehicle had been parked for a couple hours before being used again for a run to the grocery store. The owner went to drive the Ford again a short while later, but it would not start.

“It acted like it was a battery problem, and then he immediately saw smoke,” Guard said.

By the time firefighters arrived, the engine compartment was fully engulfed in flames.

Nobody was injured, Guard said, adding that the Ford’s owner was able to retrieve their possessions from the vehicle.

Smoke rises from a vehicle fire at a condominium parking lot in St. George, Utah, July 6, 2017 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

No other cars were parked nearby, and it was far enough away to not threaten nearby buildings.

“I’m glad it wasn’t under the carport,” Guard said. “It would have been a lot worse.”

An electrical issue is suspected to have sparked the fire, Guard said, noting that the vehicle did not have any previous known mechanical issues.

The Ford was destroyed and deemed a total loss by the fire department.

“Unfortunate, but at least nobody got hurt,” Guard said.

This report is based on statements from emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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Email: jwitham@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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