Blaze claims Coupeville car

Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue firefighters hose down a vehicle on fire in Coupeville Monday, July 12.  - Justin Burnett / Whidbey News-Times
Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue firefighters hose down a vehicle on fire in Coupeville Monday, July 12.
— image credit: Justin Burnett / Whidbey News-Times

A car was destroyed in Coupeville Monday evening after it caught fire in the Careage of Whidbey Parking lot.

The incident occurred at about 8 p.m. and was put out a short time later by Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue firefighters. According to Capt. Pat Kisch, what caused the 2002 Ford escape to catch fire is still unknown. However, the vehicle was likely damaged beyond repair.

“It’s probably a total loss,” Kisch said.

As the first firefighter on scene, Kisch arrived to find smoke and flames coming up from around the vehicle’s engine compartment. Unable to pop the hood from the inside, Kisch said he gained access with a pry-bar and slowed down the blaze with fire extinguishers until the first fire engine arrived.

Fellow Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue firefighters took over and were able to extinguish the fire in just a few minutes with a fire hose.

The vehicle’s owner, who asked to be identified only as Kristyna, was at work at the nursing home when the fire broke out. While she has no idea how it started, she said she moved the car from one side of the parking lot to the other about an hour and a half before the incident occurred.

“The next thing I knew someone said the alarm was going off and that the engine was smoking,” she said.

Kristyna rushed out to rescue her purse and nursing homework before the heat forced her back. She was later able to recover a child seat as well. Kristyna said she does have car insurance and that it should cover vehicle fires.

Kisch said the fire could have been much worse. The intense heat from the fire could have damaged other cars or even caused the vehicle to explode.

“It had potential,” he said.

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