A woman and her child safely escaped their burning car on Monday, after the
dashboard erupted in flames while she was driving on Ind. 49, the Chesterton
Fire Department said.
Chief John Jarka told the Chesterton Tribune today that the incident
occurred around 9:44 a.m. in the southbound lanes of Ind. 49, near the
intersection of East Porter Ave. “It started in the dashboard,” Jarka said.
“Something electrical. Then it shorted the airbags and they popped on her.”
managed to exit the vehicle with her child and was not injured by the airbag
deployment, Jarka said.
used 150 gallons to douse the fire in the 2003 Volkswagen Jetta, after Jarka
and a passerby used extinguishers to knock the blaze down. The car, however,
was totaled. “The electronics were melted,” he said. “The windshield was
Jarka did note
that most vehicle fires start in the engine compartment but the CFD has seen
the dashboard variety before.
There was a bit
of a silver lining. The CFD was able to provide the woman with a child
safety seat through the department’s car seat program, Jarka said.
The CFD cleared
the scene at 10:005 a.m.