Engine fire destroys vehicle on U.S. 50

PARKERSBURG – A car fire along U.S. 50 Monday afternoon shut down the highway for more than 30 minutes.

A Buick Century was being driven along U.S. 50 near Dry Run Road around 1:30 p.m. when the two occupants noticed fire starting to come from the engine compartment, said Kenny Moore, deputy chief for the Eastwood Volunteer Fire Department.

The people pulled the car to the side of the road and got out before the car was engulfed in flames.

“No one was in it,” Moore said.

The Eastwood Volunteer Fire Department, the Deerwalk Volunteer Fire Department and the Wood County Sheriff’s Department responded.

Moore said the problem was fire crews got the fire knocked down quickly, but it had reached the gas tank.

They kept pouring water on it to the point firefighters could get in with prybars to get the hood and the trunk open to gain access to hotspots.

“We had it under control within 3 to 5 minutes,” Moore said. “However, it was 10-15 minutes before we could get the gas tank under control.”

Fire crews had brought a tanker truck to the scene and ended up pouring 400-450 gallons of water on the car to get the fire out, he said.

The road was shut down for 30-40 minutes. Cars were lined up along the road with many pulled over to the sides to allow emergency vehicles through.

Moore said they kept the road closed until they were sure the fire was completely out.

Since they used so much water and the temperatures were so cold, they called West Virginia Department of Highways personnel to treat that section of road to prevent hazardous road conditions.

Crews were still gathering information on the occupants. Their names had not been released yet.

No injuries were reported. The car was a complete loss.