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Firefighters see increase in car fires as temperatures rise

With the temps heating up, so are many cars!

With the temperatures heating up, so are many cars.

Firefighters have recently seen an increase in cars catching fire while being driven. Experts say overheating is the main reason why cars go up in flames, but lack of maintenance or severe heat outside could also cause the combustion.

"Heat here is 90 to 100 degrees, especially here in the Valley," said Jesse Tenorio, a Mechanic at Pueblo Tires. "Rust is the biggest problem inside motors."

Tenorio says antifreeze and coolant is the only way to bring the cars' temperature down, but many times people think water will do the trick.

"With water, it's just a complete failure," said Tenorio. "The vehicle is going to explode or catch or fire, it's going to burn everything external. The vehicle is going to be gone."

But, explosions aren't the only thing car fires can spark.

"It's not just worrying about the fire itself, you also have to worry about the smoke and flames that are coming in from the vehicle," said Santiago Garza, a firefighter with the city of Alton. "Breathing in these toxic fumes can burn your throat and cause carbon monoxide poisoning."

Mechanics say if the red indicator that looks like a flag on your dashboard lights up while you're driving, and you notice your car is overheating, immediately pull over, get out of the car and call 911.

"If you neglect that, that's what's going to cause the spill," said Garza. Meaning, all internal motor parts, whether it be engine oil starts spilling out, that's what causes spontaneous spark and that's what causes the fire."

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