Vehicle fire under investigation

Sunday Times Newspapers

WYANDOTTE — Fire Chief Jeffrey Carley said a Dec. 3 vehicle fire might have been the result of arson and the department is still investigating the incident.

The vehicle fire was reported about 2:30 a.m., and police were the first to arrive on scene. Upon arrival, police said they saw heavy black smoke and located a vehicle fully engulfed in the alley behind a house in the 1600 block of Cora.

Carley said firefighters were fully involved within three minutes to contain and put out the fire. Once the fire was put out, police said they were able to obtain the vehicle’s information and notify the owner.

The red Ford F-250 sat most of the day and the owner said he was in the garage until 1:45 a.m., until he finished loading the bed with hand-built cabinets. Carley said a hold was placed on the vehicle, so the Fire Department could conduct an investigation because of the circumstances surrounding the incident.

“Under normal circumstances, vehicles don’t just burst into flames,” Carley said. “There are instances where it can happen, but the fact that the vehicle was not in use for hours and the time of night it happened left a lot of questions.”

Some vehicle fires can begin when any of the vehicle’s fluids — engine oil, transmission fluid, gasoline, for example — come in contact with the catalytic converter, he said, which can reach temperatures above 1,000 degrees and become the cause for a random vehicle fire. Carley said this was most likely not the case because the vehicle sat for an extended period of time before the fire.

A minor fire occurred in the same area two weeks earlier, which Carley said was the main cause for concern. Due to the ongoing investigation, he could not verify any claim the two fires were connected and did not want to provide information that could harm the department’s investigation.

There are no suspects, but anyone with information is asked to contact the Police Department at 734-324-4405 or the Fire Department at 734-324-4402.

(Gabriel Goodwin can be reached at