2020-12-16

Fire destroys sport utility vehicle, damages house

by KEITH CORCORAN

  • <p>SUBMITTED PHOTO</p><p>This Chester Basin home was damaged by fire on December 3.</p>
  • <p>SUBMITTED PHOTO</p><p>The remains of a newer model Hyundai Kona, destroyed by fire in Chester Basin on December 3.</p>

A vehicle fire which spread to a home resulted in thousands of dollars worth of damage but no injuries.

The subcompact sport utility vehicle (SUV) ignited in the yard of a Chester Basin property after the driver returned home from running errands in a nearby community.

"She heard a tire pop, looked out, and saw the car on fire," Doug Rines, chief of the Chester Basin volunteer fire department, told LighthouseNOW.

Emergency crews were summoned shortly after 8 p.m., December 3, to the Highway 3 address where they found flames shooting out from a newer model Hyundai Kona and licking a single-storey bungalow.

The distance between the burning SUV and house was about three metres, according to Rines.

First-arriving firefighters focused on saving the house, which sustained siding, soffit, window, door, and electrical impacts.

It took 10 minutes to get the incident under control. Neighbouring volunteer fire departments in Western Shore and Chester responded in mutual aid with additional trucks and manpower. First responders were tasked with pulling-off soffits, and checking the attic for possible fire spread.

Damage to the house is likely in the $25,000 to $30,000 range, Rines said. The home is insured and habitable. There was some interior water damage but no smoke damage.

The fire "didn't extend into the house," Rines added, noting, however, "the car is a total loss."

Meanwhile, the fuel tank aboard the burning SUV melted, causing a small gasoline leak which emergency crews secured with booms and other containment methods.

"There wasn't much fuel in the car," Rines said.

The tank issue contributed to a path of fire, which firefighters snuffed out with extinguishers.

An electrical issue with the SUV caused the fire, which ignited in the instrument panel, Rines said.

"When we went to put the car fire out, it kept flaring back up in the dash, so we had to tear the battery out," he said. "Every time we thought we had it out, it would flare back up."

Fire crews remained on scene until about 9:30 p.m.

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