Fire erupts from minivan fuel tank, spreads to second truck in Mesquite

Firefighters in Mesquite fight a vehicle fire that started on East First South, Mesquite, Nev., Oct. 13, 2020 | Photo courtesy of the Mesquite Fire Department, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A fire broke out in a minivan, spreading the flames to a second vehicle just two blocks from one of the fire stations in Mesquite, Nevada Tuesday evening.

Firefighters in Mesquite fight a fire that spread from a minivan to a cargo truck on East First South Street, Mesquite, Nev., Oct. 13, 2020 | Photo courtesy of the Mesquite Fire Department, St. George News

The vehicle fire was reported on First South Street in Mesquite just after 6 p.m., and fire crews at Station 1 responded to the page, Mesquite Fire Captain Spencer Lewis said.

“We heard the page and jumped in one of the trucks and were there within a minute or so,” he said.

Upon arrival, firefighters found the minivan fully involved in flames and a large cargo van that was burning as well. Crews were able to extinguish the fire in both vehicles in less than five minutes, but they remained on scene as they checked numerous areas where metals and fluids can continue burning or smoldering, Lewis said, which can cause the fire to reignite.

At the time of the incident, two men were working on the minivan and had just lowered the fuel tank that was being removed for repairs. As they were pulling the fuel tank from underneath the vehicle, the metal scraped across the asphalt, causing it to spark. And with so many fumes in the immediate area, Lewis said, the fire erupted quickly and then spread along the fuel line.

“With that tight space that was heavy with fumes, it wouldn’t have taken much for a spark to start a fire,” Lewis said.

One of the men ran to a work truck parked nearby and called 911 for help. As the fire burned and the area became hotter, it spread quickly to the cargo van parked nearby, which is when firefighters began arriving on scene.

The minivan was a total loss, he said, but firefighters were able to save the cargo van from complete destruction thanks to the quick actions of the men working on the car and the fire crews the arrived so quickly and initiated an aggressive attack on the blaze.

Crews remained on scene for about 45 minutes or so to make sure all the hot spots and hidden areas were extinguished. No injuries to civilians or firefighters were reported.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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