SUV bursts into flames after driver parks it on pile of leaves, Illinois officials say

Mundelein Fire Department

Firefighters in Illinois are warning drivers not to park on top of leaves after a pile ignited under a parked vehicle.

The “fully involved vehicle fire” happened Sunday, Nov. 19, in Mundelein, according to the Mundelein Fire Department. The fire ignited in both the SUV and the surrounding leaves, but it was “quickly extinguished,” firefighters said.

No one was injured in the blaze.

Firefighters said the fire is under investigation, but it’s believed to have been caused by the SUV’s catalytic converter and exhaust system igniting the leaves under it.

Catalytic converters reach temperatures of more than 750 degrees, making it possible for such a fire to happen, officials said.

The department encouraged residents to avoid raking or blowing their leaves onto the street. It also offered advice for drivers.

“Please be aware of your surroundings when parking your vehicles in the street, especially, after dark. Be sure to avoid parking over any standing piles of leaves and maintain a safe distance.”

Mundelein is about 40 miles northwest of Chicago.