An improvised heating device sparked a February fire in a vehicle near Donna’s, totally destroying the vehicle. (Courtesy photo / Capital City Fire/Rescue)

An improvised heating device sparked a February fire in a vehicle near Donna’s, totally destroying the vehicle. (Courtesy photo / Capital City Fire/Rescue)

Fire marshal: Homemade heating device sparked February car fire

No one was injured, but the vehicle was immolated.

An improvised heating device in use by the occupant of a vehicle sparked a Feb. 24 fire that consumed the vehicle, totaling it, according to investigators.

The investigation into the case is now closed, said Capital City Fire/Rescue fire marshal Dan Jager.

“(The call) came in around 6 p.m. that night,” Jager said in a phone interview. “Someone in the parking area noticed the fire and smoke.”

[Skagway man prepares to head to Ukraine to provide medical aid]

The occupant of the vehicle, a Chevy Blazer, had lit a homemade heating device fueled by denatured alcohol inside the vehicle.

“Apparently this person was doing this for a while prior to the fire happening,” Jager said. “In this case, when they lit it off, it had a hole it.”

The hole allowed burning liquid to leak out and drip down the side of the heater onto the center console, Jager said. The vehicle’s occupant attempted to extinguish the fire but spilled more burning alcohol on the interior of the vehicle, Jager said.

“With all that combustible material inside, that’s what had the fire gain intensity rather quickly,” Jager said.

CCFR responded and extinguished the fire, but the vehicle was totaled, Jager said. The occupant was unharmed and was able to retrieve some of their belongings before the vehicle was totally consumed, Jager said.

Jager cautioned that the safest heat source in a vehicle is the vehicle’s own heaters; anything else runs the risk of starting a fire, which, inside a vehicle, will go up quickly.

“Don’t bring in your own heat source. Don’t use anything with an open flame,” Jager said. “Even plug in heaters aren’t designed for use in a vehicle.”

Jager said no charges or citations were issued in connection with the fire.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

More in News

A Princess Cruise Line ship is docked in Juneau on Aug. 25, 2021. (Michael Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Ships in Port for the week of Aug. 14

Here’s what to expect this week.

(Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

This October 2020 photo shows the MV Kennicott. The Alaska Marine Highway System's winter ferry schedule is now available for review. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Winter ferry schedule available for review

Comments now being accepted.

(Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Supporters of U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski wait for an opportunity to talk to her at her newly Juneau campaign headquarters Thursday evening at Kootznoowoo Plaza. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Murkowski opens up at Juneau HQ debut

Senator chats with supporters about U.S. vs. Belgium voting, moose chili and Project Veritas

(Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

U.S. Senate candidate Shoshana Gungurstein stars in a campaign sign within view of the Alaska governor’s mansion. Gungurstein, an independent, got exposure this week for being a Hollywood actress under a different last name after questions about her past went unanswered throughout the campaign. She is one of 19 candidates seeking to be among the four selected in next Tuesday’s primary to compete in the November general election. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Senate candidate sheds more light on background

Shoshana Gungurstein responds at length to recent report on past film career.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Drug arrest made in Skagway

Police say a suspicious package was intercepted.

This late-April photo shows a damaged sticker on a door at Thunder Mountain High School reminding people to social distance and wear masks inside the building. Masks will not be required in school buildings this year. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
No mandatory masks or COVID-19 tests for new school year

No mandatory masks or COVID-19 tests for new school year

Most Read