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Posted on Thu, May 24, 2012 : 3:32 p.m.

Pickup truck catches on fire in Ann Arbor parking structure

By Kyle Feldscher


Ann Arbor firefighters work on a car that reportedly exploded and caught fire in the Fourth and Williams Parking Structure Thursday.

Melanie Maxwell |

A pickup truck caught on fire in the parking structure at Fourth Avenue and William Street in Ann Arbor Thursday afternoon.

Firefighters had the hood of the red pickup open about 3:30 p.m. Some smoke was coming from the vehicle but no flames. No one was inside the vehicle.

Firefighters had at least two trucks at the scene.

A witness reported an explosion in the structure and the vehicle on the drivers' side of the pickup truck suffered some burn damage. Black smoke was seen billowing from the structure but whatever flames resulted from the explosion were extinguished quickly.

Firefighters were still investigating the scene at 3:45 p.m. Thursday and were not immediately available for comment.

Video courtesy of Matt Taylor.
View Car fire in a larger map



Wed, May 30, 2012 : 5:24 p.m.

The flames were quite significant and spread to the car next to it while firefighters took several minutes figuring out the best way to get to the two burning vehicles. The white sedan next to the red truck had its entire front end destroyed. The "explosions" were just tires popping.


Sat, May 26, 2012 : 4:06 p.m.

I'm curious about what kind of a pickup truck it was.


Fri, May 25, 2012 : 1:12 p.m.

Kind of scary but I'm glad no one was hurt. I walked by this when the fire trucks started arriving. It was on the first floor of the garage and it was near the alley next to Palio's.

Ann English

Fri, May 25, 2012 : 8:09 p.m.

Thank you for telling us which floor of the parking garage it was on. Videos of car fires with narration can be scary to watch. I'm sure the parking garage is one of the better-known places downtown, but I never noticed this alley that you and others mention. The last time I used this parking garage, I entered from Fourth Avenue. Sounds like this parking garage overlooks an alley parallel to Fourth and Main.


Fri, May 25, 2012 : 12:44 p.m.

Quite the explosion! Glad nobody was injured and that AAFD was able to contain the problem. The map seems to show the structure was blown all the way across Main Street. That must have been huge.


Fri, May 25, 2012 : 11:58 a.m.

Makes me think of ther "Pickuptruck Song" by Jerry Jeff Walker

Chase Ingersoll

Fri, May 25, 2012 : 12:10 a.m.

I drove through the alley before I could hear the fire trucks. The vehicle was flaming all over the hood to the point where cars next to if must have been damaged. You can't get a fire truck into the garage and even the alley was questionable. Obviously, I was concerned about the gas tank blowing.

Ann English

Fri, May 25, 2012 : 8:16 p.m.

It does make more sense for SOME of the flames being visible if a car on one side sustained burn damage. When a reader submitted to over a year ago a video of a parked sedan on fire downtown at night, that fire didn't spread outside the hood or further back than the front seats. Taken from a restaurant or bar across the street from the fire, the narrator(s) expected the fire in the left front wheel well to eventually pop that tire, but firefighters put the fire out before that could happen. I thought it was scary enough to watch without adding my own imagination to it (like, would it spread to the gas tank?).


Thu, May 24, 2012 : 9:53 p.m.

I love how, under "related content," there's a link to the article on police and fire department overtime. Perhaps could file an FOIA request to find out which firefighters were dispatched to this fire, to see if they could have called in some different firefighters to save money?


Fri, May 25, 2012 : 8:51 p.m.

That was more of a reference to's decision to publish firefighter's salaries.


Fri, May 25, 2012 : 2:41 p.m.

So.... let the fire burn until off duty fire fighters arrive to put it out. Makes a ton of sense, right? Try thinking something through to conclusion before posting it.

Ann English

Thu, May 24, 2012 : 9:43 p.m.

"Some smoke was coming from the vehicle but no flames." Both the first paragraph and the third paragraph mention fire, unlike this second paragraph. The fire must have stayed INSIDE the pickup truck, meaning it never came through the hood, corner panels, doors, or roof. I take this as what usually happens when a vehicle explodes. Never seen one explode, but it doesn't necessarily mean that something was blown to pieces. You ran a video over a year ago of a car on fire downtown, across from a restaurant or bar, with the patrons narrating. If that car had exploded, to use your terminology, then explosions take place in the front undercarriage of a vehicle. The firefighters in THAT story went right to that part of the car, putting the fire out there first. For THIS story, it would be interesting to know which floor it took place on and apparently the firefighters could fight the fire with their own trucks parked on Fourth or William. The silent video is fine; sometimes narration could make a listener uncertain about watching all of a fire video.


Thu, May 24, 2012 : 9:17 p.m.

I wonder if the garage made them pay by the hour to bring the truck in? Perhaps could file an FOIA request to find out, and if so, did the firefighters request reimbursement for the parking fees?