Firefighters douse vehicle fire

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A charging car battery likely led to a fully involved automobile fire in Libby on Oct. 14, fire officials say.

Firefighters responded to the blaze at 171 My Road about 6:45 p.m., said Scott Beagle, second assistant chief with the Libby Volunteer Fire Department. In all, 12 firefighters, one engine, two water tenders and a command vehicle were routed to the scene, he said.

The fire had spread to a second vehicle when crews arrived. Firefighters doused that blaze and attacked the main fire after ensuring nearby trailer homes were protected.

Though there was no risk to nearby residents, Beagle said the main concern for firefighters were the vehicle’s struts, which can overheat, explode and send projectiles firing at first responders. Other threats included the gas tank and tires.

During the subsequent investigation, officials determined the battery was hooked up to a charger leading up to fire. Occasionally, the acid in the battery can boil and catch fire, Beagle said.

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