Vehicle fire diverts traffic on Red Cliffs Drive

ST. GEORGE — Traffic on Red Cliffs Drive was diverted by the mall early Monday afternoon as firefighters worked to put out a vehicle fire.

The St. George Fire Department responded to a vehicle fire on Red Cliffs Drive just east of 1680 East in front of the Red Cliffs Mall, St. George, Utah, Nov. 18, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Utah Department of Transportation, St. George News

Firefighters and other responders were dispatched around 12:45 p.m. to the area just east of the 1680 East intersection where a minivan in the outer westbound lane had caught fire.

When firefighters arrived, they found the engine compartment of the minivan in flames, St. George Fire Chief Robert Stoker said. The fire was primarily contained to the engine block, though some of the fire made it inside the rest of van as well, he said.

Though the minivan is likely considered a total loss, Stoker said, the driver was outside of the vehicle and unharmed.

While firefighters put out the vehicle fire, westbound traffic on Red Cliffs Drive was diverted onto Red Hills Parkway or through the Red Cliffs Mall parking lot. Eastbound traffic either passed by through a single lane or also cut through the mall parking lot.

The fire was possibly caused by a mechanical malfunction, Stoker said. The minivan’s driver told firefighters that the vehicle had stalled at the red light by the Red Cliffs Drive/Red Hills Parkway connection.

The driver was able to restart the engine and begin to drive, but then he heard a “pop” and saw smoke coming from the engine compartment, Stoker said. When he stopped the minivan and got out to investigate, the driver saw flames accompanying the smoke.

The scene was cleared by 1:30 p.m.

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

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