Early this past Thursday morning, while drivers throughout Fairfax County were taking part in the early commute, a car driving through the Springfield area suddenly caught fire. Details regarding the reason behind the fire have yet to arrive, but the incident did result in a report from the Springfield Police Department, a report that helped explain to the thousands of motorists as to why traffic around the intersection of Interstate 95 and Interstate 495 was so terrible.
It seems that the at close to 8:15 in the morning, the single car involved in the fire was attempting to exit the northern lanes I-95 using a ramp that would connect them to the northern lanes of I-495. For reasons that are not at all clear, the car burst into flames while traveling through this liminal space. We do not yet know if the car was involved in a collision with the guardrail or if there was some other internal problem that occurred to cause the combustion. We also do not know if the car was in motion when the flames began to spread or if the driver had already pulled off of the roadway due to some mechanical trouble.
What is known is that fire rescue teams with the Greater Springfield Volunteer Firefighter Department arrived at the scene shortly after the smoke was first noticed. It appears that the motorist was still inside of the car at the time when the rescue teams arrived. Firefighters and police were able to safely remove the driver from the vehicle, load them into an ambulance, and transport them to a nearby hospital. The report indicated that the motorist suffered from some minor injuries as a result of the fire. They are expected to recover without too many complications.
While the car fire did not ultimately result in any lane closures, the effects of the surprising incident were felt during the rush hour as significant delays slowed the commute to a crawl for many miles throughout the surrounding area.
Officers with the Springfield Police Department are currently in the process of trying to discover why the car fire began.