Two cars burn, tires melt during vehicle fire at apartment complex

Black pickup truck catches fire in the parking lot of an apartment complex on 700 South, St. George, Utah, July 6, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE  — One vehicle fire quickly became two when a fire that started in a pickup truck parked at an apartment complex spread to a second vehicle as the radiant heat continued to rise with outside temperatures hovering above 105 degrees.

Two vehicles are destroyed during a fire that erupted in the parking lot of an apartment complex on 700 South Friday, St. George, Utah, July 6, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

At 1:20 p.m. firefighters and police responded to a vehicle fire reported in the 600 block of East 700 South involving a black Dodge pickup truck that caught fire while parked in an apartment complex parking lot.

Firefighters found a fully involved fire burning through the front of the pickup truck, with a Subaru Forester parked alongside the pickup that was also ablaze.

Fire officials determined that the secondary fire was caused by the radiant heat that continued to rise from the burning pickup, and became so hot it ignited into flames that spread through the front end of the Subaru.

The heat was so intense that it shattered the glass in the pickup truck and melted the front tires on both vehicles.

Fire crews attacked the blaze burning through both vehicles and within minutes were able to extinguish the fire before it had the chance to spread to any other vehicles or structures located throughout the large complex.

St. George firefighters respond to a fire involving a pickup truck and a Subaru on 700 South, St. George, Utah, July 6, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

In the meantime, firefighters began hosing down the wood-shingle roof of an apartment complex located less than 25 feet from where where the vehicles were burning, to hinder the spread of the fire and protect the adjacent buildings, Stoker said.

The owner of the pickup told Stoker he returned home approximately 15 minutes before the fire started and said he had no issues with the vehicle prior to Friday’s incident. He only became aware of the fire after a neighbor knocked on the door of his apartment and alerted him.

Stoker said the fire started in the engine compartment of the pickup truck from “some type of mechanical issue,” but the cause is still under investigation as no external source was identified.

Both vehicles appeared to be a total loss, the chief said, adding that no injuries were reported.

This report is based on statements from police or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

 

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