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Car bursts into flames by courthouse

POSTED: October 11, 2017 12:00 p.m.
Patty Leon/

A Hinesville firefighter puts out a car fire Tuesday in the Liberty County Courthouse Annex parking lot. The car, a 2007 BMW 335I, burst into flames when the owner popped the hood because she smelled smoke.

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Hinesville fire fighters extinguished a fire Tuesday morning in the parking lot adjacent to the Liberty County Courthouse Annex.

A 2007 BMW 335I, had burst into flames. Owner Andrea Brown said it was a frightening moment.

Brown said she’s had recent issues with the car and had replaced the thermostat. She said she works inside the annex and was coming in to pick up a package. As she approached the parking lot she said she smelled something burning.

“Then I saw the smoke coming out and then it got worse and worse,” she said adding she pulled into the lot and shut off the engine.

She said another county employee came out and asked her to pop the hood but she was fearful.

She said another county employee arrived and she stepped out of the car and let them pop the hood.

When the hood was opened, flames roared up and quickly engulfed the engine and hood. Employees sprayed the engine with fire extinguishers until the fire department arrived. Firefighters put out the flames within minutes.

In May, ABC News reported that more than 40 BMWs had caught fire within the past 5 years.

Within days BMW fired back saying the incidents were extremely rare and not linked to any fire-related recall issues.

Regardless, Brown said the incident was unnerving.

“I am thankful and I thank God,” she said adding she was grateful no one was injured. “It does go to show that we do take things for granted and we should appreciate life every day.”

She said she’ll be calling her insurance company to file her claim and she is thankful to all those who came to her aid.

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