First responders quell vehicle fire in New Salem

  • Firefighters responded to a severe vehicle fire on Daniel Shays Highway (Route 202) in New Salem on Friday. Courtesy photo/Shutesbury Police Department

  • Firefighters responded to a severe vehicle fire on Daniel Shays Highway (Route 202) in New Salem on Friday. Courtesy photo/Shutesbury Police Department

Staff Writer
Published: 11/26/2021 7:10:28 PM

NEW SALEM — Firefighters from New Salem and Shutesbury responded to a severe vehicle fire on Daniel Shays Highway (Route 202) Friday morning.

The call came in at 11:25 a.m. for a Jeep Compass that had burst into flames while being driven. The driver had reported he heard a “pop” sound and then “saw some flames and pulled over and got out,” according to New Salem and Wendell Fire Chief Joe Cuneo. Cuneo said the man was able to get out of the car safely without any injuries.

Cuneo said it looked like the fire had started in the engine, but it was difficult to tell because the vehicle was damaged so heavily.

“It looked like the point of origin was the engine compartment,” Cuneo said by phone Friday night. “It was so badly damaged it was hard to really tell.”

He said there was “no question” that the vehicle was a total loss.

Cuneo said it took the fire crews from New Salem and Shutesbury about five to 10 minutes to get the fire under control and they were on scene for about an hour. Dale’s Auto Body and Towing of Athol removed the vehicle.

Despite the severity of the fire, Cuneo said the driver was able to escape without any complications.

“Luckily, there were no explosions,” Cuneo said. “It tied up traffic for a while but that was it.”

Chris Larabee can be reached at clarabee@recorder.com or 413-930-4081.


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