Crowd gathers as Volkswagen burns in Walmart parking lot

Oct 10 2011 - 11:27pm

Images

Photos courtesy of Clinton Fire Chief Jason Poulsen
The burnt-out shell of a Volkswagen Beetle is pictured Monday in the parking lot of Walmart, 632 N. 2000 West in Clinton. The fire is believed to have started when the rear seat of the car made contact with the car battery, creating sparks.
Photos courtesy of Clinton Fire Chief Jason Poulsen
The burnt-out shell of a Volkswagen Beetle is pictured Monday in the parking lot of Walmart, 632 N. 2000 West in Clinton. The fire is believed to have started when the rear seat of the car made contact with the car battery, creating sparks.
Photos courtesy of Clinton Fire Chief Jason Poulsen
The burnt-out shell of a Volkswagen Beetle is pictured Monday in the parking lot of Walmart, 632 N. 2000 West in Clinton. The fire is believed to have started when the rear seat of the car made contact with the car battery, creating sparks.
Photos courtesy of Clinton Fire Chief Jason Poulsen
The burnt-out shell of a Volkswagen Beetle is pictured Monday in the parking lot of Walmart, 632 N. 2000 West in Clinton. The fire is believed to have started when the rear seat of the car made contact with the car battery, creating sparks.

CLINTON -- A car fire in the middle of a Walmart parking lot caused a bit of unwanted attraction as firefighters worked to put out the flames, says Clinton Fire Chief Jason Poulsen.

"So many people stopped to see what was happening, it caused a crowd-control problem for a minute," Poulsen said.

Firefighters were called to Walmart, 632 N. 2000 West, at 4:10 p.m. Monday after a 1968 Volkswagen Beetle's engine caught fire.

The car's owners had finished grocery shopping and had loaded the groceries in the trunk of the VW Beetle, which is in the front of the car. The classic VW's engine is in the rear of the vehicle.

The owners, plus one passenger, got into the car. One of the passengers sat on the back seat.

"The battery is located under the rear seat, and the seat made contact with the battery," Poulsen said.

The owner heard the sparks and then smelled smoke. The owner and the passengers got out of the car and called 911. Clinton police were first on the scene and tried to put out the fire with fire extinguishers.

Fire crews arrived within minutes, but by that time the car was engulfed, Poulsen said.

It took firefighters a few minutes to get the fire out, but not before it also caused damage to the car parked in the next stall, Poulsen said.

That damage included peeled paint and fire damage.

"Walmart's parking lot was so packed, we're pretty lucky only one other car was damaged," Poulsen said.

Clinton fire crews have undergone extensive car-fire training recently.

"They did really well by working quickly and efficiently to prevent other cars from being damaged," he said.

No injuries resulted from the fire.

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