Blazing car closes down SR-3 in Gorst

A flaming Plymouth shut down most of State Route 3 near Gorst for about 15 minutes on Saturday, creating a highly distracting spectacle for the few passing drivers who were able to squeak by.

Shortly before 8 p.m., a 72-year-old Port Orchard man was driving his 1983 Plymouth four-door into Gorst on southbound SR-3 when, without warning, flames began leaping out of the engine compartment.

The man managed to get the car pulled off to the side of the road and passers by quickly helped him to safety.

The car, however, was swiftly engulfed by the flames and was fully involved by the time fire crews arrived a few minutes later.

The crews managed to extinguish the blaze, but the car was declared a total loss.

All southbound lanes of SR-3, plus one northbound lane, were closed for the duration of the incident.

Lt. Helmut Steele of the Washington State Patrol said no cause for the fire has yet been determined, and it’s unlikely any will ever be found.

Because the fire was contained to a private vehicle and resulted in no injuries, he said the State Patrol considers the incident largely a matter for the insurance company.

“If there were a lot more serious injuries, we would look into it,” Steele said.

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