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Car catches fire in New Sweden

NEW SWEDEN, Maine — Caribou firefighters used foam to put out a fire that destroyed a car on Route 161 here Tuesday morning.

The 2012 Ford Focus was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived about 20 minutes after the call came in to the fire station at 8:08 a.m., Fire Chief Scott Susi said Tuesday afternoon.

“When cars catch on fire, they go pretty quick,” Susi said.

The driver, Bill Thibodeau, and a passenger, were out of the vehicle and uninjured, the chief said.

Firefighters used foam to quickly put out the fire and left the scene on the side of the road at 402 New Sweden Road, also known as Route 161, around 9 a.m.

The chief did not know the cause of the fire, but said that newer vehicles often contain a magnesium electrical box which is “pretty hard to put out” once it ignites.

While he did not know what happened in this specific case, Susi said that “in the winter people often have to jump [start] vehicles and that puts a lot of strain on the vehicle. It could short the electrical wires, and once those wires get hot, it could cause an internal fire.”
The chief said that vehicle fires are not uncommon for the department, and that they respond to one “every now and again.”

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