Other driver first to see flames

Morrill woman escapes injury after car catches fire

Sat, 07/12/2014 - 10:30pm

Story Location:
Route 1
Belfast  Maine  04915
United States

BELFAST - A little smoke under the hood turned into a blaze that ultimately engulfed the car of a Morrill woman Saturday night. No one was injured in the fire, which temporarily closed an onramp from Main Street to Route 1.

According to police, Mariah Lapham was traveling on Starrett Drive at around 9 p.m. when she noticed a small amount of smoke coming from the front of her car.

By the time she reached the eastbound Route 1 on-ramp, the amount of smoke had increased. Speaking later at the scene, she said the engine had cut out and she had pulled over to the shoulder.

The driver of the car behind her saw the smoke and also pulled over. When he approached the car, he said, he noticed that Lapham was still in the driver’s seat and did not appear to notice that there were flames coming from her hood.

”I told her, I think you better get out of the car,” he said.

When she was clear of the vehicle, he said, he quickly returned to his own car to back it away from the burning sedan.

Belfast Police were the first emergency responders on the scene. Sgt. Brian Lunt said officers tried unsucessfully to put out the fire with a pair of dry chemical extinguishers.

“We knocked it down, but it came right back up,” he said.

Belfast firefighters arrived shortly after and were able to fully extinguish the flames. Lunt said the cause of the was unknown and the car was a total loss. Lapham left the scene apparently uninjured.

The eastbound onramp was closed for roughly 20 minutes. Through traffic on Route 1 was not affected. 

Ethan Andrews can be reached at news@penbaypilot.com