Colorado man captures startling photos of Reserve Street van fire

2012-10-08T12:01:00Z 2012-10-08T12:09:31Z Colorado man captures startling photos of Reserve Street van fireMissoulian missoulian.com
October 08, 2012 12:01 pm  • 

Mike Quaintance, of Bailey, Colo., was passing through Missoula on Saturday when a van burst into flames just ahead of him on the Reserve Street Bridge.

After the fire was extinguished and he was able to continue moving north across the bridge, Quaintance drove to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, then looked at his photographs and realized he'd captured several highly charged scenes.

On Monday, he shared these photographs - via email - with the Missoulian.

"I have relatives in Lolo who will get a kick out of this," he wrote.

The fire caused a massive traffic snarl on Reserve and Russell streets at mid-afternoon Saturday. No one was injured, but the van was a complete loss.

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(12) Comments

  1. Rob Tabish
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    Rob Tabish - October 14, 2012 11:01 am
    while a reiteration of the original story would have added to this article, anyone interested in what happened can look up that story to find out what details were known of the fire. i suspect, with the few details from the original story, that it may have been a wiring problem or something in the heater system of this mini van. unfortunately, since the van was totally destroyed, the actual cause may never be determined.

    this can be a warning to people about maintaining their vehicles and not taking for granted that we are always safe. something as simple as a scrap of paper or a pencil falling into the defrost vents in the dash, or watching out for mice getting into the wiring under the hood, can save you a lot of trouble. the occupants were lucky, as fast as this van went up, that they were in a place where they could pull over and get out of the vehicle, or that the fire didn't cause more damage on that crowded road with all the other vehicles around it.
  2. Mazola
    Report Abuse
    Mazola - October 12, 2012 9:39 am
    "Startling" ? Really?
  3. sofaking tired of the GOP
    Report Abuse
    sofaking tired of the GOP - October 11, 2012 7:51 pm
    Common sense at it again, proving your name is completely meant to be ironic.
  4. mtmike
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    mtmike - October 11, 2012 1:48 pm
    drone strike,lol
  5. MontanaNative1ed7
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    MontanaNative1ed7 - October 10, 2012 10:09 pm
    It's Obama's fault?
  6. Dennis Lopach
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    Dennis Lopach - October 10, 2012 8:12 pm
    Huh?
  7. 70seebs
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    70seebs - October 09, 2012 7:43 am
    Well, if I'm not mistaken COMMON SENSE, it looks like one of them new-fangled American cars. You know, the kind that are still around because of the tough decisions and bold leadership of our president! But I am excited to see the even newer-fangled electric cars that don't even need drivers. Only question is, why do those cars need to travel at all?
  8. walter12
    Report Abuse
    walter12 - October 09, 2012 7:24 am
    Sometimes the Missoulian is pathetic. Anybody wonder why a van would just burt into flame. Was it some kind of deathray that hit it? Come on.
  9. COMMON SENSE
    Report Abuse
    COMMON SENSE - October 08, 2012 9:56 pm
    Does anybody even know if anyone was injured? Being on the bridge I presume somebody was driving it at the time? Unless of course it was one of those electric cars Obama thinks everyone should own. Apparently, it is normal for those to burst into flames. That should be Obama's new campaign logo, a flaming electric car with Obama proudly proclaiming it the answer to the rising prices at the pump!
  10. ynot
    Report Abuse
    ynot - October 08, 2012 8:31 pm
    I was on the bridge when this happened - what a scene to behold. I considered myself very lucky to pass it before the fire crews arrived, or I'd have been stuck for a while!
  11. taxi-mom
    Report Abuse
    taxi-mom - October 08, 2012 2:48 pm
    idiot state i was thinking exactly the same thing .... this is apparently a common event in Missoula ... i expect it everytime i go on a drive... SERIOUSLY MISSOULIAN !!! Cant you do any better than THIS ? Great picture but it isnt even FROM the Missoulian ... lets get with INFO the program eh ?
  12. idiot state
    Report Abuse
    idiot state - October 08, 2012 1:45 pm
    It's totally normal for a vehicle to burst into flames-thanks for not burdening your readers with information on its cause!
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