FORT KENT, Maine — A car and discarded couch both caught fire in Fort Kent on Tuesday after the driver got her vehicle stuck on the sofa while backing up in her driveway, according to local fire officials.
“The car had backed over a couch that was out in the yard, apparently under some snow,” Fort Kent Fire Chief Ed Endee said Wednesday. He surmised that heat from the exhaust pipe of the car caused the couch to burn, and the fire then extended to the vehicle.
Firefighters responded to the fire scene at 123 Market St. at about 9 p.m. Tuesday and extinguished the flames within a few minutes.
Danielle Trudel said when she tried to back up in her driveway, she accidentally backed over the snow-covered couch and became stuck.
Unable to get the car unstuck, she decided to go inside her residence. She said she later noticed smoke coming from near the rear wheel wells of her vehicle. Trudel said she questioned herself as to whether she had forgotten to turn off her car, and when she went outside to check, she saw flames coming from the couch.
Trudel shoveled snow onto the couch and emptied a fire extinguisher, but was unable to put out the flames, so she asked a neighbor to call the fire department.
Trudel said she believes that the hot tailpipe of the car was in extended contact with the fabric on the couch, likely causing the fabric to ignite.
The couch and car were still burning when 16 volunteer firefighters arrived with two engines and the heavy rescue truck.
In order to put out the couch fire, the volunteer firefighters had to move the car which Endee said was partially stuck in the snowbank covering the couch.
There were no injuries as a result of the fire, according to the fire chief. He said the car sustained minor damage.
The firefighters cleared the scene at 9:21 p.m.
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