Couch in snow leads to car fire

FORT KENT, Maine — A snow-covered couch which a Fort Kent woman discarded in her yard contributed to a car fire on Tuesday evening, Jan. 23, according to local fire officials.

The Fort Kent Fire Department responded to a report of a car fire at 123 Market Street at 8:56 p.m. on Tuesday.

“The car had backed over a couch that was out in the yard, apparently under some snow,” Fire Chief Ed Endee said. “Exhaust from the car got the couch to burn.”

The fire then extended to the car, Endee said.

Danielle Trudel is the owner of the couch. She was operating her vehicle, attempting to back up in the driveway, when she backed over the couch and became stuck.

She went inside her residence and later noticed smoke coming from near the wheel wells of her vehicle, she said on Wednesday. Trudel said she questioned herself as to whether she forgot to turn off her car, and when she went outside to check she noticed flames coming from the couch.

Trudel shoveled snow on 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 the fact that the tailpipe of the car had extended contact with the fabric on the couch likely caused the fabric of the furniture 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 a snowbank.

There were no injuries as a result of the fire, but the car sustained minor damage, Endee said.

The firefighters cleared the scene at 9:21 p.m.

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