Clinton car fire lights up afternoon

A late-afternoon car fire almost made a wreck of several cars parked outside a Clinton grocery store Sunday.

According to Fire District 3 Capt. Jerry Beck, a fire in a a minivan parked at Ken's Korner Mall burst into flames at about 5:15 p.m. Sunday and threatened to ignite two others parked adjacent to it.

The blaze was persistent and fierce, continuing to burn even after an FD3 firefighter shot the contents of three fire extinguishers into the van's engine compartment while waiting for a fire truck and more volunteers to arrive.

When additional firefighters did reach the scene, they released the parking brakes on the two nearby cars and moved them away from the fire, which by that point had completely engulfed the van.

Beck said the 10 volunteers who arrived from Clinton and Bayview fire stations had the blaze almost completely extinguished within two minutes.

The van, he said, was a total loss. Also damaged in the fire was a tree overhanging the mall parking lot.

In talking to the van's owner, Beck said he believes the cause of the fire may have been a malfunctioning carburetor.

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