Just after 1700 hours on Monday, August 7th, Hartsdale Fire received a call reporting a noxious odor coming from a vehicle in the parking lot of 141 South Central Avenue. Due to the unknown circumstances of the call, Engine 170 arrived on location and positioned at a safe distance. The caller met with the officer of Engine 170 and stated their parked vehicle was emitting a strong noxious odor and had an orange residue covering the entire inside of the vehicle. While remaining at a safe distance members approached the vehicle for a visual inspection through the driver door that had been left open. Members observed smoke coming from the passenger seat of the vehicle with visible charring. Members stretched a hose line as a precaution and donned breathing apparatus for closer inspection. It was discovered that the passenger seat of the vehicle had burned through and was in the decay stage of a fire that had been burning for several hours. The near airtight construction of the vehicle starved the fire of fresh air thus creating an oxygen deficient, ventilation limited fire. Members disconnected the vehicle's battery as a precaution then quickly extinguished and overhauled the remaining fire. Upon further observation it is believed that the yellow/orange residue inside the vehicle was attributed to the materials impacted by fire in the seat of the vehicle. While in their normal state, materials such as cushion foam are completely harmless, but once they catch on fire dangerous carcinogenic gasses are released including hydrogen cyanide which our members had low readings of on our meter. After ensuring the vehicle was ventilated and safe, it was turned over to the owner for tow removal.
Photos by Alan Zale - Department Photographer