Fire consumes van in Virgin River Gorge

Vehicle catches fire, Virgin River Gorge, Arizona, Sept. 1, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Jeff Hunt, St. George News

VIRGIN RIVER GORGE — A Los Angeles man was able to vacate his vehicle unharmed after his 1993 Toyota minivan caught fire on Interstate 15 at Arizona milepost 23, just north of the Cedar Pocket interchange Monday afternoon.

(report continues below)

Videocast by Lennie Bintliff, St. George News

The minivan was traveling southbound at about 3 p.m. MDT when the driver and single occupant of the vehicle noticed smoke in the cab of vehicle, pulled over, Littlefield Fire District Chief Jeff Hunt said.

St. George Fire Department was the first to respond, coming from its Station 8 near I-15 Utah Exit 2.  The department has an automatic response agreement with the Beaver Dam-Littlefield Fire District to help with incidents north of Cedar Pocket, Hunt said.

“We really appreciate them coming down to help as we had to go north and turn around to get to the fire,” he said.

Fire destroys a 1993 Toyota van, Virgin River Gorge, Arizona, Sept. 1, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Jeff Hunt, St. George News
Fire destroys a 1993 Toyota van, Virgin River Gorge, Arizona, Sept. 1, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Jeff Hunt, St. George News

Minimal traffic moved through the area at the time and was temporarily backed up for 1 mile within the Virgin River Gorge until the fire was suppressed.

Heat of the fire reached several hundred degrees and burned clothes and books and burst watermelons in the vehicle, Hunt said.

“The vehicle was completely consumed,” he said. “All that was left was the shape of the vehicle. The fire was hot enough to melt aluminum and start magnesium on fire.”

It was extinguished within 45 minutes. St. George Fire dismissed the case to Beaver Dam-Littlefield Fire District in the aftermath. The cause of the fire was undetermined, Hunt said.

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3 Comments

  • Hot! September 3, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Was it a Bosommobile?

  • bobber September 3, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    THANK GOODNESS THEY DIDN’T HAVE A LAPSE IN JUDGEMENT AND LEAVE A BABY IN THE VAN.

  • Zonkerb September 4, 2014 at 3:41 am

    Bobber… Really.?….. Yawn

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