A used yellow Volkswagen Beetle caught on fire while being transported to Kent on Aug. 29. The driver noticed the smoke after commuters honked and attempted to get his attention. Ashley Hiruko/staff photo

A used yellow Volkswagen Beetle caught on fire while being transported to Kent on Aug. 29. The driver noticed the smoke after commuters honked and attempted to get his attention. Ashley Hiruko/staff photo

Used car on back of truck catches fire near I-405 on-ramp in Kirkland

Northeast 116th Street was closed as firefighters put out the blaze.

At about 4 p.m. on Aug. 29, Kirkland firefighters responded to a car that caught fire while being transported to Kent on the back of a truck on Northeast 116th Street.

Driver Mark Edwards was near the light on Northeast 116th Street, close to the Interstate 405 on-ramp, when somebody honked at him, he said. He looked back and saw steam at first and thought nothing of it. But after getting out of his truck, he saw smoke.

It was coming from the front of a yellow Volkswagen Beetle, stacked in the middle of other used cars. Directly in front of the Beetle was the backside of a Jeep. The Jeep’s fuel tank sat under the bumper, not even two feet from the Volkswagen.

“It was flaming, melting the car underneath and burnt the whole back of that Jeep,” Edwards said. “I can’t believe that it didn’t blow up, with the fuel tank there.”

Edwards, after seeing the flames, ran back and grabbed his fire extinguisher, climbed up to the car, and attempted to put the blaze out himself. He climbed up a second time after someone handed him a second fire extinguisher. Then the fire department arrived and successfully put out the flames.

This kind of spontaneous fire had never happened to Edwards before, he said. But it was bound to happen, he added, with people trading in older cars.

“I’m just glad everybody was safe,” he said. “There was traffic all around and nobody got hurt, thank God. Nothing blew up.”

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