Intense Beltway Blaze Destroys Hummer

Ambulance crew first to notice Hummer's undercarriage on fire

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    NEWSLETTERS

    News 4's Julie Carey has more from a pair of Firefighters/EMTs who saved a woman from a burning car on the beltway. (Published Friday, Aug 12, 2011)

    The catchy old tune by Jerry Lee Lewis describes this scene best --  “Great Balls of Fire.”

    There is no word on what caused a Beltway inferno early Friday morning in Maryland. A spokesman for the Prince George’s County Fire and EMS Department told News4 it happened on I-495 at about 12:20 a.m.

    Fire Engulfs Hummer on Beltway

    [DC] Fire Engulfs Hummer on Beltway
    Investigators are trying to figure out what caused a Hummer to catch fire on the Beltway overnight. The incident happened at about 12:20 a.m. Friday near the Pennsylvania Avenue exit in Forestville, Md. State Police said one person was inside the vehicle and made it out safely. (Published Friday, Aug 12, 2011)

    Officials said an ambulance crew was first to spot the fire. It was burning underneath a Hummer traveling southbound on the Beltway in Forestville, Md. The ambulance had its lights and sirens on and tried to stop the driver, but officials said she was on her cell phone and did not immediately notice efforts to get her to pull over.

    When she did finally stop near the Pennsylvania Avenue exit, Prince George’s County emergency officials said the woman did not want to get out of her SUV and refused to believe it was on fire. Eventually, she saw the flames herself and felt the heat coming from the undercarriage and got out.

    That’s when flames engulfed the SUV. It took firefighters several minutes to put the fire out. No one was hurt.

    As firefighters put out the flames, the ambulance continued on transporting a patient to a hospital. That patient was not in danger by the delay tending to the vehicle fire.

    Maryland State Police were also at the scene scene. Troopers have not said if the driver will face charges for allegedly talking on her cell phone while driving, which is illegal in Maryland.