Lake Orion police: Driver didn't know his car was on fire when officer pulled him over

Exhaust system likely cause of fire, officials say

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LAKE ORION, Mich. – A Lake Orion police officer jumped into action when he noticed a small SUV with the back hatch and rear bumper that was on fire, officials said.

  • The short video available above was recorded by the officer with his cellphone. The video is a short clip and has been looped to make it longer.

It happened Wednesday before 10 a.m. while the officer was on routine patrol on northbound North Park Boulevard at West Flint Street in Lake Orion, officials said. He heard a loud popping sound that resembled gunshots and began to look around, according to a news release.

The officer kept hearing the sound and his focus turned to the vehicles surrounding him. He didn't see anything abnormal, so he pulled ahead and saw the SUV that was on fire. According to the release, the fire was spreading quickly and near the fuel tank. The officer believed the driver was not aware of the fire.

The officer turned on his emergency lights and siren and the driver pulled into a bank at the corner of North Lapeear Road at Drahner Road in Oxford Township, which is where he was heading.

The officer ran to the driver's door, opened it and told the driver to get out of the vehicle and the driver asked the officer, "Why?" That's when the officer told him his vehicle was on fire and the driver exited the vehicle.

The Oxford Township Fire Department arrived and put out the flames.

The driver said he didn't know what could have started the fire. He left his home, stopped downtown and was heading to the bank when the officer pulled him over.

A preliminary investigation ruled the fire accidental. Officials believe the fire was caused when a portion of the exhaust system was bent to make contact with the plastic portions of the vehicle.

No one was injured.

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