Firefighters can typically go weeks without seeing a fully-involved vehicle fire, but this week back-to-back blazes destroyed both an RV and an SUV. Firefighters kept both blazes from spreading to structures, but flames consumed the vehicles.
Fire officials blame mechanical issues for both fires.
The first fire happened Tuesday afternoon in the Star Valley area of Dealer’s Choice.
A man had reportedly started propane to a refrigerator in an older-model RV and minutes later the motor home erupted in flames, said Hellsgate Fire Chief Gary Hatch.
When firefighters arrived, the RV had turned from a beige Allegro into a flaming fireball.
Crews knocked the flames down within five minutes and had it fully mopped up several hours later, Hatch said.
The man’s home was a safe distance from the coach, but firefighters had worried the flames could spread to surrounding trees.
Then on Wednesday morning, Payson Fire got a call of an SUV on fire on Remuda Way, south of Payson Golf Course. Again, when firefighters arrived flames had engulfed the vehicle, but this time the fire threatened a home, several vehicles and a boat.
Firefighters knocked it down quickly, but the fire claimed the SUV and a nearby boat on which the heat caused the fiberglass to melt into what looked like rippled alligator skin, said Jim Rasmussen, a fire battalion chief.
The vehicles’ owners said they had just replaced the car’s battery.