SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

No Injuries in Van Fire


February 03, 2016
Wednesday AM

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - The Ketchikan Fire Department responded to a 2003 van fire Monday afternoon at 3rd Ave and Jefferson Street and upon arrival the crew found a the engine compartment of a 2003 van fully involved. Ketchikan City Police officer were first on scene and were successful in slowing the fire from spreading using extinguishers prior to the fire crews' arrival.

jpg No Injuries in Van Fire

Ketchikan Fire Department responds to the van fire Monday afternoon.
Photo courtesy Ketchikan Fire Department

According to public information provided by the Ketchikan Fire Department, their fire crews were able to quickly put out the fire, which kept the majority of damage to the front half of the van. The Ketchikan Daily News reported the van driver, Joe Austin, said he was driving in the van when he smelled something buring. Ketchikan Daily News reported the driver said the fire started in the van's fuse box.

Vehicle fires are nothing new and there can be a variety of reasons causing a fire to ignite, as noted in the GMC recall in October of 2015. At that time, General Motors issued its 4th recall of another 1.4 million vehicles dating back to the 1997 model because of oil leaks which they had determined caused engine fires. GMC found that cars that leaked oil can catch fire, in some instances with reported damages to garages and homes if park inside or close by. The October 2015 recall was needed, according to GMC, because repairs from the first four recalls to correct fire problems didn’t work. GMC said more than 1,300 cars still caught fire even after they were fixed by dealers.

jpg No Injuries in Van Fire

Ketchikan Firefighters successfully extinguish a 2003 Van fire
Photo courtesy Ketchikan Fire Department

In 2010, GMC also recalled 5,000 heavy-duty Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana passenger and cargo vans and halted production and sale of the vans until a fix for a suspected faulty alternator that possibly caused engine fires could be determined.

There are other manufacturers who have issued recalls such as Mercedes-Benz which recalled their Sprinter Vans in 2014 due to fire risks. (To learn more about safety recalls visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Adminstration's website

The online website interFire, which is dedicated to improving fire investigation worldwide, states that in most instances, the sources of ignition energy in motor vehicle fires are the same as those associated with structural fires, arcs, overloaded wiring, open flames, and smoking materials, for example. There are, however, some unique sources that should be considered, such as the hot surfaces of the catalytic converter, turbocharger, and manifold. Because some of these ignition sources may be difficult to identify following a fire, interFire provided descriptions to assist in the recognition on their website. To read more about the many Ignition Sources in Motor Vehicle Fires provided by interFire, read Investigation of Motor Vehicle Fires.



Source of News:

Ketchikan Fire Department - Official FB Page



Reference to Ketchikan Daily News
Read the full article - Subscription Required:


Publish A Letter in SitNews

Contact the Editor

SitNews ©2016
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska

 Articles & photographs that appear in SitNews may be protected by copyright and may not be reprinted without written permission from and payment of any required fees to the proper sources.

E-mail your news & photos to

Photographers choosing to submit photographs for publication to SitNews are in doing so granting their permission for publication and for archiving. SitNews does not sell photographs. All requests for purchasing a photograph will be emailed to the photographer.