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The City of Portland, Oregon

Fire & Rescue

Always Ready, Always There

Phone: 503-823-3700

Fax: 503-823-3710

55 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204

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Vehicle Fires - Be Prepared to Move Quickly And Get to Safety


Portland firefighters responded to a car fire on Interstate 5 near Jantzen Beach on January 6, 2012. The car burst into flames about 6:45 a.m. The driver, who was traveling north, was able to pull over to the shoulder near the Jantzen Beach exit just south of the Interstate Bridge and flee to safety. Two engines arrived at the scene and put the blaze out.

Vehicle fires are more common than you might think. The National Fire Protection Agency reports that there are roughly 300,000 vehicles per year, resulting in around $1.3 billion in property damages. Review the below helpful tips on car fire safety so that you know to act if you are ever put in this life-threatening situation:

  • Car fires are very dangerous, especially considering the possibility that the gas tank could possibly explode. For this reason, it is most important to get you and your passengers out of the car as quickly as possible, leaving behind your possessions.
  • Before leaving the vehicle, turn off the engine if possible.
  • Don't stay near the burning vehicle. Instead, get as far away from the vehicle as possible in case the fire spreads or the fuel tank explodes.
  • Once you are in a safe place, call the fire department for assistance. If you or any of your passengers are injured or burned, call for medical assistance immediately.
  • Do not return to the car to try to put out the fire. Do not return to the car to retrieve any possessions. Although the car might be an important part of your life - it is not as important as your life!
  • Even if you only see smoke after an accident or smell burning, act quickly and take the same precautions as if you could see actual flames. Remember - where there's smoke, there's fire.


  Portland Fire & Rescue

  We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

  January 6, 2012

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