Car explodes in parking lot, two others catch fire

By By Ana Breton and By Ana Breton

By Ana Breton

Three cars caught fire at 9:58 a.m Thursday at the medical parking lot in an incident that is estimated to cost between $50,000-$60,000. No one was harmed in the incident.

A woman, whose name has not been released, was on her way to work at the U Hospital after noticing her Toyota Camry was having engine problems earlier that day.

Her car, which was parked on the bottom level of the 50 North and Medical Drive parking structure, caught fire and caused severe damage to the two cars parked immediately next to it.

A hospital worker, who was riding a bicycle, noticed smoke coming from the lot and alerted the fire department, said Rick Berrett, administrative captain of the Salt Lake City Fire Department.

“The first group (of fire fighters) arrived at the scene around 10:05 a.m.,” Berrett said. “All together there were 30 firemen on the scene.”

Kurt Koot, battalion chief of the fire department, said the fire crew had a hard time finding the emblazed car because of the construction that surrounded the area.

“Besides having been told the wrong address, all of the machines involved with the nearby construction made it more difficult to reach the fire,” Koot said.

Once the department reached the scene, the fire was extinguished within a couple of minutes.

Berrett said the Camry was completely totaled while the two other cars sustained significant damage.

The engine problems, which fire fighters believe started the fire, are still under investigation.

The case has been turned over to U authorities.

The parking structure suffered significant damage due to fire chipping away the concrete stone above.