Colder weather can lead to vehicle fires

FARGO, ND (Valley News)-- Fargo fire crews responded to a car fire this afternoon at Kroll's Diner.

It happened around 2 p.m. This is just one of five in Fargo within the last week.

Even though crews are still trying to figure out what caused Sunday's fire, the cold weather can cause problems.

"Our cold weather in the north here is a lot harder on cars. This time of year, they have to work harder," Fargo Fire Battalion Chief Joe Mangin says. "If you had some sort of an electrical issue or something that was going wrong with your car, the cold weather can exacerbate that."

Mangin says the snow is also a major contributor to these car fires. He says it can plug up your fan, causing the car to overheat.

Although Sunday's snow fall might not be enough to do the trick, just give it time.

"If you're having car issues, get it repaired," Mangin says. "Often times, at these car fires, we hear, 'Yes I've been having problems with this component.'"

He adds car fires are especially dangerous. These kinds of fires can spread quickly and if it reaches the gas tank--that's big trouble.

"The smoke from a car fire is extremely hazardous," Mangin says. "There are all sorts of chemicals that are in that smoke that can hurt somebody fairly quickly."

Luckily, no one was hurt at this fire. The Chief says if your car starts on fire, get out, get away and call 911 as soon as possible.

A car is replaceable, but a life is not.