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VW van destroyed in fire on Wyatt Way

A firefighter is surrounded by a cloud of smoke as Bainbridge firefighters put out a vehicle fire on Wyatt Way Tuesday.  - Brian Kelly | Bainbridge Island Review
A firefighter is surrounded by a cloud of smoke as Bainbridge firefighters put out a vehicle fire on Wyatt Way Tuesday.
— image credit: Brian Kelly | Bainbridge Island Review

A Bainbridge driver escaped injuries Tuesday afternoon just before her Volkswagen Vanagon burst into flames at the intersection of Wyatt Way and Grow Avenue.

Kristi Lloyd had just turned right onto Wyatt when her car stalled and she realized the engine had ignited.

"It just sputtered out and it was on fire," Lloyd said.

"I had barely started it."

Lloyd said she hadn't reached more than a block from her home before the car stalled.

She was able to get out of the vehicle before the fire spread to the front seat.

Lloyd said she attempted to put the fire out with two small household extinguishers but the fire was too large.

At one point, the flames reached as high as the power lines along the roadside just outside the Grow Avenue housing development. A cloud of black smoke from the fire climbed hundreds of feet into the air and was visible from downtown Winslow.

Work at the Grow construction site paused as workers stopped to watch the dramatic fire. None of the housing units were damaged, but trees along the perimeter of the townhomes under construction were burned.

The Bainbridge Island Fire Department responded to the scene and put the fire out shortly before 3 p.m.

Assistant Fire Chief Luke Carpenter said the fire was likely caused by a mechanical problem in the VW's engine.

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