2 cars in Dubuque spontaneously burst into flames in 2 days - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

2 cars in Dubuque spontaneously burst into flames in 2 days

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

Two cars in Dubuque have spontaneously burst into flames in just two days.

Assistant Fire Marshall Mike McMahon said Thursday a woman was driving along Central Avenue when all of the sudden her car started filling with smoke.

He said the woman pulled over and the car started burning.

McMahon also confirmed on Wednesday another car caught on fire near Pennsylvania Avenue and Kennedy Road in Dubuque.

He said, in looking through traffic surveillance footage, there were no signs of how either fires started.

Joshua Bush works at Dominos Pizza on Pennsylvania Avenue in Dubuque. He said he parked his car at work Wednesday afternoon and went inside to start making a large order of pizzas.

"The woman from the place next door ran over and said that my car was on fire," Bush said. "I was in disbelief."

Bush said he then called the fire department and began trying to extinguish the fire himself.

He said at this point he is not sure if his car is a complete loss.

"I'm just thankful to be alive," Bush told KWWL Thursday.

Mike McMahon said the Dubuque Fire Department responds to some 40 car fires in a given year.

"Cars don't blow up like you see on TV, but they still can be dangerous," McMahon said.

He said a majority of those fires are accidents caused by electrical work inside cars.

"We still have careless smoking, some people who smoke in their vehicles, and we do have some accidental fires in that respect, but most vehicle fires are accidental -- in other words, electrical goes wrong with them," McMahon said.

McMahon said it's important for vehicle owners to get their cars checked regularly by a mechanic.

"Cars are very safe, and when you look at the number of them on the road and you look at the number of vehicles fires we have in a year's time, the vehicles are very safe, but they are a mechanical piece of equipment and things can go wrong," McMahon said.

McMahon said when the department responds to a vehicle fire, they always take down the make, model, and year of the car. That information is the searched through a consumer recall list.

McMahon said the fire department shares that information with the fire industry across the country. He said that's how a lot of car recalls come about.

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