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Date : May 19, 2024
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Hanover seeing more car fires, car owners warned to keep up maintenance

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Hanover County Fire Department says a rise in car fires has made them busier than they were last year.

Hanover County Battalion Chief David Johnston told 8News fire crews responded to ten car fires in the county in the last month. This year so far, they responded to about 60 car fires. Johnston said that’s already 25% more car fires than what they ended 2021 with.

“Once a vehicle ignites, it very quickly can get involved because of the amount of flammable liquids that are consumed in that vehicle,” he said.

He said fire crews are often responding to car fires on the interstate.

“It doesn’t just end there. It could be at a mechanic shop. It could be in a person’s home which is worst of all,” Johnston added.

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Photo: Hanover Fire and EMS

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Photo: Hanover Fire and EMS

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Photo: Hanover Fire and EMS

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Photo: Hanover Fire and EMS

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Photo: Hanover Fire and EMS

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The causes are hard to pinpoint because flammable liquids can char a car within minutes. That’s why the Hanover County Fire Department has a flammable liquids response team.

“We have about 18 million gallons of flammable liquids going up the roads every day, so for us we know that when we approach a vehicle fire with flammable liquids, it’s going to be more difficult to put out,” Johnston said.

Although the cause of these recent fires are undetermined, some of the things that can start the flames are electrical wiring, after market equipment and ignoring a leak.

Johnston is urging car owners to make sure their vehicles are well-maintained so the flames won’t get out of hand.

“If you notice anything wrong with your vehicle, please don’t leave it inside your garage,” he said.

Johnston added electrical car fires are something they haven’t seen in the county yet, but crews are trained to handle them.

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