Teen escapes car as it bursts into flames on Telegraph Street

WASHINGTON CITY — A driver managed to escape her car just before it burst into flames on Telegraph Street in Washington City Friday night.

A firefighter douses a car’s engine compartment after it caught fire on Telegraph Street in Washington City, Utah, April 19, 2019 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

Emergency personnel from the Washington City police and fire departments responded to the blaze at 8:38 p.m. involving a maroon four-door passenger car near 2000 East on Telegraph Street.

“A 16-year-old female driving up the hill felt movement in her wheels and then flames came out from the engine compartment,” Washington City Police Sgt. Sean Wilstead told St. George News at the scene.

“Really quick thinking on her part, she pulled off on the side of the road and out of traffic,” Wilstead said. “Once she pulled off the side of the road, it fully engulfed.”

The girl jumped out of the car, and some nearby brush also caught fire and started spreading up an adjacent hillside.

“When we got on scene, there was a small brush fire that we hit first, then we knocked the fire down on the vehicle,” Washington City firefighter Clint Nelson said.

Firefighters respond to the scene of a car fire on Telegraph Street in Washington City, Utah, April 19, 2019 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

The entire engine compartment was destroyed in the fire. Nelson described the car as a total loss as it was hoisted onto a wrecker to be towed away.

Fortunately, the interior only had smoke damage, and firefighters were able to retrieve some of the girl’s belongings.

“She had her backpack and her phone in there,” Nelson said.

The exact cause of the fire was still under investigation at the time of this report.

Neither the girl nor the three firefighters who responded were injured as a result of the fire.

Traffic in the vicinity of the fire was slowed, but the overall impact on drivers through the area was minimal as police directed traffic around the responding fire engine.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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