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Fire claims car in Oak Harbor Safeway parking lot

Two firefighters from the Oak Harbor Fire Department begin attacking a car fire that broke out in front of Safeway Friday, Sept. 17. - Justin Burnett/Whidbey News-Times
Two firefighters from the Oak Harbor Fire Department begin attacking a car fire that broke out in front of Safeway Friday, Sept. 17.
— image credit: Justin Burnett/Whidbey News-Times

Shoppers at Safeway in Oak Harbor got more than they bargained for Friday evening when a vehicle caught fire in the grocery's parking lot.

At about 7:25 p.m., the store's internal speaker system announced that a red Pontiac Grand Prix appeared to be on fire in a stall near the front doors. Shoppers rushed out to find smoke pouring from under the hood of the vehicle.

While those parked next to the burning car began a frantic effort to move their own cars away, the owner of the Pontiac, who asked not to be identified and declined an interview, attempted to put the flames out himself with a fire extinguisher.

The effort failed however, and the car continued to burn. The Oak Harbor Fire Department was on the scene within minutes and was able to quickly get control of the fire.

With flames visible underneath the vehicle, two firefighters approached the car and began hammering the hood with a large metal pry-bar to gain access to the engine compartment. Once it was open, the flames were blasted with water and the fire was put out for good.

The Oak Harbor Police Department and the Washington State Patrol also responded to the call.

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