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CCFD: Accidental fire totals vehicle

By Staff | Apr 26, 2012

A vehicle caught on fire Wednesday afternoon off of Del Prado Boulevard, but fire investigators found nothing suspicious about the incident.

At about 1:08 p.m., the Cape Coral Fire Department responded to a fire at 1899 Del Prado Blvd S. that involved a 2002 Chrysler Sebring convertible. A man and a woman were reportedly inside of the car when it caught on fire.

“Apparently, the fire started somewhere in the dashboard,” CCFD Battalion Chief Donald Cochran said. “The ashtray or something like that.”

The woman was treated for smoke inhalation and released on scene.

Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature.

“It was nothing intentional,” Cochran said. “There was nothing suspicious about it.”

The Sebring was a total loss. No other vehicles were damaged.

James Makuch and Tia Lepeak were at the scene Wednesday, with Lepeak hooked

up to an oxygen machine. Makuch said they were inside the car.

According to Makuch, a friend had recently put it out a cigarette in the ashtray when he went to clean his hands with some type of rubbing alcohol. He said when he used it, he thinks it lit some embers from the cigarette.

He tried to put out the fire but the passengers area, where Lepeak was sitting, caught on fire. Lepeak said she tried to stomp it out with her feet.

They exited the car, and Makuch went to a nearby business for help.