Protecting Yourself From A Car Fire

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Two cars went up in flames Tuesday on Interstate 70 after flammable liquids under the hood sparked. 11 News Reporter Jessica Zartler went to the experts to get tips on how to keep you from feeling the heat.

Fire trucks fly down I–70 trying to stop flames from spreading. Investigators say Tuesday's fire started with a truck fire.

Earlier in the day, another truck went up flames. The owner thinks it was a fuel leak.

No one was injured in either fire but they can be deadly. The National Fire Protection Association says more than 500 people died in car fires in 2004.

"I've seen several and they are scary," Simpson's Brothers Mechanic Ron Walton told 11 News on Wednesday.

Walton has been a mechanic in Grand Junction for 25 years. He says he's worked on several cars after engine fires.

Mechanics say temperatures under the hood of a car can reach 300 degrees and with oil and transmission leaks, electrical shorts, and rotting batteries, that can be bad news.

"Car fires when they get going, they can destroy a car in a matter of minutes," said Walton.

The National Fire Protection Assocation says bad maintenance is to blame for 75 percent of all car fires, so experts say if you let rubber seals rot, you're putting yourself and your passengers in danger.

To make sure that doesn't happen, AAA has some safety tips:

1) Get regular inspections by a professional technician
2) Watch for leaks and cracks
3) Pay attention to sounds and smells

Safety experts say checking under the hood could mean the difference between riding down the interstate in your car and riding in an ambulence.

If you are driving and your car catches fire, safety officials say stop, shut off the engine, get out of the car and move atleast 100 feet away and call 911.

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