UPDATE, noon, Nov. 22: A small car that caught fire in the southbound lanes of Interstate 405 near NE 70th Street Wednesday evening was a total loss after Kirkland firefighters arrived to find it fully aflame. The driver escaped unharmed and was the only one in the car.
“It was fully involved when we got there,” said Battalion Chief Mike Haschak, who was on the scene. “We just don’t see that much anymore, mainly because of cell phones and because we don’t see air-cooled engines much these days.”
Cell phones speed the reporting process, he said, and older vehicles with air-cooled engines tended to be more fire prone.
The fire occurred at about 6 p.m. just south of the NE 70th street exit on I-405 and started in the car’s passenger compartment, among its wiring. “The driver apparently told the State Patrol that he had a fuse always blowing so he put a bigger one in,” said Haschak.
The driver was a man about 30, and the car appeared to be a smaller Honda, Haschak said.
Engine 26 from the Rose Hill Fire Station was first on the scene and its crew knocked down the flames. The hood was then cut open so firefighters could reach the engine compartment and finish the job.
UPDATE, 5:40 p.m. NOV. 21: Washington Department of Transportation tweeted: "Looks like firefighters are cutting the hood off the car...."
The Washington Department of Transportation is reporting a significant car fire on I-405 southbound in the Kirkland area.
According to their Tweet at 5:40 p.m.
"Fire on scene, putting out the car. Drive along, folks. Drive along..."
Traffic appeared to be moving, albeit quite slowly.