Video: Kansas firefighters battle car engulfed in flames


A Kansas fire department went face-to-face with a car fire on Sunday. 

“Once we secured the scene and made sure everyone was staying back we made our attack on the fire with our hose lines,” said Mulvane Fire Lieutenant Jason Mundell.

Mundell said someone driving along K-15 south of Mulvane called in the fire around 9:30 p.m.

“They happened to see the fire and pulled over to make sure no one was hurt or if had been called in yet,” Mundell explained. “They were able to get the door open, they looked inside and couldn’t see anyone in the seats. They tried to use a fire extinguisher, but it was too big at that point for their little extinguisher.”

Soon after that, firefighters arrived on scene and immediately started to attack the fire. Mundell said firefighters approached the fire from all angles, first cooling off the area before getting closer to the vehicle.

“We try to knock down the fire from a distance a little bit and cool it down,” he said.

Mundell said distance is key in fighting a car fire.

“The actual canisters that inflate the airbags can become projectiles when they reach a certain temperature,” he said. “Sometimes they can actually become a projectile and shoot out of the vehicle.”

Air bags, toxic gases and extreme heat are just a few dangers firefighters face when battling a vehicle fire. 

Mundell said crews also have to be aware of what kind of vehicle they are working on. 

“A lot of newer cars have a magnesium alloy material that they are using because it’s lighter weight, kind of trying to cut down the weight of the vehicles and magnesium is a flammable metal, so once you get that burning it reacts with water, creating the sparks that we saw in the videos,” Mundell said. 

Mundell said firefighters were about 15 feet away from the car when the sparks went flying. No one was injured and crews were able to distinguish the fire within about 20 minutes.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The Sumner County Sheriff’s Office is looking into who owns the abandoned car.

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