Propane bottles in the burned out cars. Photo: SVT
11 Sep 2018

Propane bottles found in burning vehicle - car fire could have ended in disaster for firefighters


A car fire in Munkfors, Sweden, night to Sunday could have ended in a major disaster. In one of the burning cars there were found  two large propane bottles that could both have killed many people and caused great destruction if they had exploded, reports SVT, Swedish Television News Network.

"I woke up to a loud bang around 3 am , then I heard  a few more bangs .Then I hear how it's burning and when I'm looking out, I see the two cars on fire,", says Veronica Hemmingberg, who lives right next to the parking lot where the burning cars were parked.

The rescue service had no idea that there was high explosive material in the burning vehicles, so the responding team was highly at risk as well.

- It's extremely serious. When arrive at a car fire, we approached as always with caution and began to subdue the fire first and then extinguish. Only afterwards did we see that there were gas bottles in the car. That's really serious, it's basically life-threatening", says Magnus Lundqvist at the Karlstad regional Fire Brigade,

Had the gas bottles exploded, it could have killed members of the responding firefighting team.

"The worst case scenario is if  these bottles had exploded when we arrived with a large pressure wave and a fireball bleve, "says Magnus Lundqvist.

"It could have spread to the gas station as well, leading to evacuation", says local resident Veronica Hemmingberg, to SVT.

The police investigate the fires as possible arson fires, but they do not have any suspects yet.

The rescue service views what happened with serious concern:

"First of all, we want to know how this happened and whether it was intentional... What I hope is that it's a mere coincidence that the gas bottles were there. If this was a deliberate arson fire, and those who started it know that the gas bottles were there, it would be extremely serious, "says Magnus Lundqvist.

Burned out cars. Photo: SVT