Car goes up in flames on Route 114 in North Andover

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Jun. 6—NORTH ANDOVER — A 2013 Lexus SUV caught fire Monday at around 10:30 a.m. at 555 Turnpike St., just east of the intersection of Route 125, or Andover Bypass, and Route 114.

"We're still investigating it," said Chief John Weir of the North Andover Fire Department. "The driver and passenger got out safely. Crews are on scene and knocked the fire down pretty quickly and overhauled it."

The car was towed to a local lot, and the fire is being investigated by Lt. Scot Harris. There were no environmental hazards from fuels or oil as a result of the fire, Weir said, although a fair amount of smoke was generated.

"Cars are all plastic and foam now, it creates a lot of toxic gas," Weir said. "Firefighters have to use a self-contained breathing apparatus" to approach the flames.

National Grid was called to the scene because the car, which made its way to the breakdown lane, was underneath a utility pole as it burned.

"They came out just to make sure there was no interruption of service," Weir said. "Everything was fine."

Car fires present special hazards, not only because of their fuel tanks but also in hydraulic components that are used in bumpers, or to hold up a hatchback.

"There are gas struts that can explode and be a missile," Weir said. "You have to worry about the tires popping."