'We've been very busy': Ardmore firefighters respond to multiple vehicle fires

Sierra Rains
srains@ardmoreite.com
Ambulance and fire truck with lights flashing

Ardmore firefighters say they’ve responded to more fires over the last month and half than they’ve had in a very long time. Among those incidents is a slew of vehicle fires that have occurred over the past few days. 

On Christmas night firefighters received a call regarding a vehicle that was on fire between two houses on Cherry Street, said Ardmore Fire Department Fire Marshal Tim Lee. “The vehicle was parked underneath a metal carport and it melted it,” Lee said. 

The vehicle fire damaged three structures in the area by melting off the vinyl siding on them. By the time the fire was extinguished the vehicle was a total loss, but no one was injured. Lee said the fire was suspicious in nature and is under further investigation. 

Another suspicious vehicle fire started up early Tuesday morning near N Street Northeast. Lee said the vehicle was parked on the street, just outside a residence where the people inside were asleep. The vehicle was fully engulfed in flames and deemed a total loss. 

Lee said there was around $12,000 in damage to the vehicle, but the residence was untouched by the flames. This fire is also being investigated as a suspicious fire, but investigators do not believe it is related to the fire on Christmas night. 

“They’re not related or connected, we don’t suspect that the two of them are connected in any way,” Lee said. Firefighters spotted a third vehicle fire later that day on Veterans Boulevard while responding to a medical call. “They actually drove up on that one,” Lee said. 

Lee said it was determined that the vehicle had broken down and the driver had tried to poor gas in the carburetor to restart it. This caused flames to flare up at him and catch the vehicle on fire. 

Firefighters took quick action to put the fire out and were able to prevent very much damage from being done to the vehicle. “They got it real quick and kept it small,” Lee said. 

Lee said this amount of vehicle fires is a few more than they would typically see at this time of year. In general, firefighters have been very busy this month. 

“We’ve had a lot of fires lately, we’ve been very busy,” Lee said. “We usually get a little run up of fires through the winter but we’ve got a little bigger one this year for some reason. I’m not really sure why, but we’re seeing more fires this year for sure.”

While the reasoning behind the increase is uncertain, Lee said there are ways individuals can help keep the amount of fires down and protect their homes. One of the main causes of fires in the winter are space heaters and firefighters want to remind the public to keep all items at least three feet away. 

“Don’t keep them too close to your furniture. Don’t use extension cords with them, and never leave them unattended,” Lee said. “We see a lot of space heater fires through the winter, that’s always one of our big ones.”