Vehicle catches fire at Grindstone Parkway Exit on U.S. 63

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 | 3:17 p.m. CST; updated 6:01 p.m. CST, Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Columbia Firefighters wait to clean up the remains of a 1993 Nissan Altima that erupted into flames at a stop light off Grindstone Parkway and U.S. 63. Battalion Chief Steven Sapp said a hole in the muffler caused the fire.

COLUMBIA — The Slaughters were out Christmas shopping when the bumper of the car next to them erupted into flames.

The car was smoking when the driver exited U.S. 63 at the Grindstone Parkway exit, Kelly Slaughter said. He said he told his daughter to dial 911 after he saw flames at the stoplight. Slaughter then signaled to the driver to get out of the car, getting out of his own car to help him.

Cayla Slaughter, who was driving from Fulton with her father, made the 911 call at 10:24 a.m. The fire engine arrived at the scene at 10:33 a.m.

The cause of the vehicle fire on Wednesday was a hole in the top of the muffler, Columbia Battalion Chief Steven Sapp said.

Upon arrival, firefighters extinguished the fire, which caused little interior damage but significant exterior damage to the trunk, Sapp said.

Two firetrucks with six firefighters were at the scene. Sapp said it took approximately two minutes to extinguish the fire.

The car, a 1993 Nissan Altima, was towed off the exit.

The owner of the vehicle, who was not injured and would not give his name, said he was grateful for Slaughter and his daughter, who also gave him a ride to his home.

There were no injuries.

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