2 vehicles totaled, 1 more damaged in vehicle fire outside auto repair shop

Madison fire on side of the firetruck

MADISON, Wis. — A fire that started in the engine of an idling van Thursday afternoon left two vehicles totaled and another one damaged.

Madison fire officials said the fire broke out shortly before 2:30 p.m. A witness in the area reported seeing white smoke coming from the hood of a GMC Explorer that was parked bumper-to-bumper against a Ford F-150 in front of two auto shops on Stewart Street.

The witness said the smoke from the GMC turned black as flames started to build from the engine compartment.

Fire officials said workers from the auto shop tried to put the flames out, but they were unsuccessful. The workers used four fire extinguishers, according to a news release.

The passengers inside the van that caught fire got out before the flames extended into the interior of the van. No one was injured.

When fire crews arrived, both the GMC van and the Ford F-150 were on fire. Crews used 500-700 gallons of water to extinguish the blaze.

The heat from the fire damaged the front passenger side of another van parked nearby.

Officials are still working to determine the cause of the fire, but the driver of the GMC van said the vehicle had just been taken to the repair shop for unknown technical issues.