Fire claims two vehicles

Marv Stommel’s evening did not go as planned.

The Kenai resident stopped at the McDonald’s on the Kenai Spur Highway for dinner Wednesday evening and found himself digging through the charred remains of his truck less than an hour later.

His gray GMC had been parked next to a late-model Lincoln MKS that caught fire while its occupants were inside the restaurant.

“I pulled up next to it, went inside, went in the bathroom, came out and ordered my order, all of the sudden people were screaming,” Stommel said. “I looked out any my car was on fire.”

Stommel said he considered running out to move his truck, but the flames were already touching his driver’s side door.

“People were yelling, I went back in and got my food,” he said.

McDonald’s shift manager Cody Clendenen said he heard people’s screams and grabbed the restaurant’s fire extinguisher, however by the time he reached the fire it was already out of control.

It is unclear how the fire started and the driver of the MKS said she had no comment on the situation.

Kenai Fire Department Capt. James Dye said both vehicles were a total loss, though firefighters had it under control in less than 10 minutes.

At least 70 spectators drove through the scene taking pictures and asking what had happened.

Dye said typically fires don’t happen downtown in Kenai’s business district, so the crowds were not surprising.

Stommel seemed unfazed though he said his truck had been packed full of his belongings so he lost a lot of material possessions.

“Nobody’s hurt. It’s a bummer, but insurance will pay for everything,” Stommel said. “It’s just an inconvenience.”

 

Reach Rashah McChesney at rashah.mcchesney@peninsulaclarion.com.

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