ST. GEORGE — A car fire in the Virgin River Gorge was complicated by inconsiderate – or inattentive – drivers who didn’t slow down as firefighters went about extinguishing the blaze.
Beaver Dam/Littlefield Fire District responded to the fire involving a fully engulfed passenger car on northbound Interstate 15 near milepost 13 in Arizona at 12:11 p.m. MST.
The car was pulled to the shoulder of the road and the two occupants were able to escape the vehicle without injury, Beaver Dam/Littlefield Fire Chief Jeff Hunt said.
Firefighters arrived and extinguished the blaze, Hunt said, adding that the fire completely burned the car, leaving it a total loss.
As responders were tending to the scene, Sgt. John Bottoms with the Arizona Department of Public Safety said many drivers passing by the incident did not slow down, even as several emergency vehicles with lights flashing lined the roadway.
“Many motorists are driving by like there are no firefighters working adjacent to the highway and we’ve had several near misses,” Bottoms said at the scene.
While the incident did not result in any blockage of the roadway, Bottoms said in situations like these, drivers still need to slow down for the safety of first responders, regardless of whether they’re on the asphalt or shoulder of the road.
The cause of the car fire has yet to be determined, but Bottoms said it was likely the result of a mechanical issue.
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