INFORUM.com | WDAZ.com

WDAY: The News Leader

Published June 28, 2012, 06:21 PM

Recent rise of car fires in the region

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- It seems every summer the number of car fires spikes. Just in the past few weeks the area has seen nearly a dozen. But does it have anything to do with the heat ? Or has this recent string been mostly a coincidence?

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- It seems every summer the number of car fires spikes. Just in the past few weeks the area has seen nearly a dozen. But does it have anything to do with the heat ? Or has this recent string been mostly a coincidence?

Wednesday night, a car fully engulfed just before we arrived on scene at the Petroserve on South University. Tuesday, a truck burnt beyond repair in Moorhead. Last month in Minneapolis, three cars burning after a natural gas leak.

Leroy Skarloken/Asst. Chief, Fargo Fire Dept.: "Generally the reason a car starts on fire is probably some sort of a mechanical failure."

And if you are faced with a situation like this, it can be a scary scene. But Hollywood explosions are usually just that...Hollywood.

Skarloken: "Usually the fuel tank doesn't blow up, usually what happens is they lose their integrity and dump their fuel at the same time."

As for this warmer weather...most likely not the reason for a sudden surge in flaming vehicles.

Steve Bettenhausen/Gateway Service Center: "I think it's just a coincidence."

Just like during the winter, experts say, really one of the best things you can do to keep your family safe while traveling this summer is simply keep a well maintained vehicle. Make sure you change your oil every 3,000 miles, check on the engine coolant, and especially during the summer, make sure you check on your battery power.

Skarloken: "As long as you are keeping your car properly maintained, you are going to be in a fairly safe condition."

Mechanic and owner of Gateway Service Center, Steve Bettenhausen, says there are a variety reasons for scenes like this.

Bettenhausen: "Bad connections will get hot and start a fire, or a fuel leak."

But summer isn't one of them.

If you believe your vehicle might have a problem, or it continually overheats in the summer, experts say get it checked right away.

Tags: