Car parked near leaves catches fire in St. Louis

Posted at 10:59 AM, Dec 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-11 11:59:28-05

The St. Louis Fire Department is issuing a warning after cars recently caught on fire due to leaf piles across the city.

A car that was outside a home in Compton Heights caught fire Saturday when it was parked over piled up leaves. The car was fully engulfed in flames before firefighters could even get there.

The incident marked the second time in just a few days that a car caught fire on that block because of leaves.

Resident Justin Siegel and his neighbors were shocked to see how fast the flames grew, but the St. Louis Fire Department says it is an annual danger when the leaves start to fall.

“They’re dry and they are flammable, it’s like parking on top of a pile of newspapers,” said St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson. “You have hot exhaust under your car, if your makes contact with the leaves, there’s a chance it’s going to catch fire.”

According to a spokesperson for St. Louis City, leaf pick up is only once a month when the street sweeper comes. But residents like Siegel say it needs to happen more frequently.

A city representative says their advice is not put leaves out into the street until pick-up day, or put them in yard water dumpsters in the back alleys.