Rough commute: two car fires in approximately two hours

No one was injured in a minivan fire that sparked around 7:30 a.m. Thursday, July 24, on southbound Highway 169, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

The fire held up commuter traffic for a few miles, and the scene cleared out about 9 a.m., according to Lt. Eric Roeske of the Minnesota State Patrol.

The car pulled over just north of 63rd Avenue North, and the State Patrol and Maple Grove Fire Department responded.

A second car fire was reported shortly after the Highway 169 responders cleared out, according to Maple Grove Fire-Rescue Chief Scott Anderson.

The second fire occurred on westbound Interstate 94 off of Maple Grove Parkway about 9:30 a.m., the chief said. No one was hurt in that incident, either, he said. It appeared that the driver pulled over, then the engine started smoking before it ignited and the firefighters extinguished it, he said.

“It’s unusual for us to have two within an hour and-a-half or so, but you know, there are an awful lot of cars traveling that freeway,” Anderson said.

-Compiled by Paul Groessel