Car Explodes in Irvine Residential Neighborhood

August 18, 2020 Updated: August 18, 2020

IRVINE, Calif.—The Orange County Fire Department (OCFD) responded to a car fire on Aug. 17 in the Almador residential neighborhood of Irvine, California.

Firefighters received the call at 5:47 p.m. and arrived within minutes to find a black Mercedes-Benz E320 in flames. They removed the hood of the car and quickly contained the fire.

According to neighbors, the parked Mercedes spontaneously erupted in flames. The explosion made a loud noise “like someone slammed a really loud door,” one witness said.

No one was present in the vehicle and there were no injuries, the OCFD reported.

Epoch Times Photo
A firefighter from the Orange County Fire Department responds to a burning car in Irvine, Calif., on Aug. 17, 2020. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
Epoch Times Photo
Orange County firefighters use a hose to spray water on a burning Mercedes-Benz in Irvine, Calif., on Aug. 17, 2020. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
Epoch Times Photo
The wreckage of a burnt Mercedes-Benz smolders after Orange County firefighters doused the flames in Irvine, Calif., on Aug. 17, 2020. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

A second vehicle, a Toyota parked next to the Mercedes, sustained slight damage on the driver’s side.

The owner of the burnt vehicle, a resident named Billy, said he’s not sure what caused the fire and declined to comment further. He owns multiple cars and runs a small mechanic business out of his garage.

Captain Ian Dawes of the OCFD told The Epoch Times, “There was no structural involvement in the fire. The most important thing is nobody got hurt.”

Dawes said the department is ruling the incident as an accidental fire by an unknown electrical cause.

Epoch Times Photo
An Orange County firefighter carries a hose while responding to a burning car in Irvine, Calif., on Aug. 17, 2020. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
Epoch Times Photo
A firefighter with the Orange County Fire Department connects a hose to the truck while bystanders look on in Irvine, Calif., on Aug. 17, 2020. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Victoria Terpening, who lives in the neighborhood, told The Epoch Times she was on her way home from work when she saw the flames rising near where she lives.

Panicked because she thought her house was on fire, she rushed home to make sure her family was okay.

“I’m just so thankful for public services and the fire department,” Terpening said.

The incident occurred as California bakes amid a record-setting heat wave that has drained the energy grid and caused rolling power outages.