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SUV driver escapes fast-moving fire thanks to alert citizen

Good Samaritan alerts driver that her vehicle was on fire.{p}{/p}
Good Samaritan alerts driver that her vehicle was on fire.

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A fire erupted inside an SUV Tuesday morning. The driver was behind the wheel when she was alerted that smoke was billowing from her vehicle.

In Lewiston, black smoke could be seen from across the Snake River. It was a fast-moving fire as firefighters raced against time to knock the fire down. The driver only had seconds to escape.

Mitch Bergman captured the dramatic moments in Clarkston as the fire consumed the SUV.

“Got a report of a vehicle on fire, it was fully engulfed when the first units got here, so that means we had flames showing all throughout the car,” said Clarkston firefighter.

Fire officials said just moments before, the driver was behind the wheel driving from Lewiston to Clarkston. She had no idea, until someone drove up next to her to alert her.

“She was driving down the road when somebody drove up next to her and told her that they seen smoke, and she seen smoke inside of the vehicle," said firefighter.

The woman driver told firefighters she couldn’t get over fast enough. And by the time she pulled over into the Napa parking lot on 3rd Street off Diagonal she only had seconds to get out and save some of her belongings.

An explosion rocked the SUV. The heat was so intense it damaged a nearby vehicle.

“There was one that kind of got a little hot, looks like some of the plastic melted a little bit. But other than that they're all fine,” said Clarkston Firefighter.

A second fire engine crew arrived to help Clarkston firefighters knock down the flames in under three minutes.

"It was quickly extinguished, but they still are extinguishing the hot spots," said firefighter. "No one got hurt. The owner got checked out, she's fine."

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The SUV is a total loss and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

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