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Minivan fire briefly closes North Atherton Sheetz

A minivan erupted into flames at the North Atherton Street Sheetz in Patton Township on Thursday morning.
A minivan erupted into flames at the North Atherton Street Sheetz in Patton Township on Thursday morning. Photo provided

A flaming minivan interrupted the morning rush at a convenience store Thursday.

The Sheetz at 1781 N. Atherton St. in Patton Township was the scene. A silver minivan was at one of the gas pumps before 8 a.m. when the fire started. By 8:05 a.m., the front of the vehicle was a blackened shell.

Alpha Fire Company was on the scene with both firefighters and fire police. Patton Township police also responded to the incident.

According to Alpha Fire Assistant Chief Shawn Kauffman, the driver noticed smoke coming from the engine upon arrival at the gas station. The driver attempted to move the car away from the pumps, but the engine failed.

When fire crews arrived, he said, the fire had spread from the engine compartment and the vehicle was “well involved.”

“It was your typical car fire,” Kauffman said. “It probably wouldn’t have been a big deal if it weren’t for the gas pumps.”

Sheetz employees had shut off the gas pumps by the time fire crews arrived, he said. No injuries were reported, and no damage was reported to the station.

“There was no risk of a catastrophic event,” he said.

The vehicle was towed from the scene, he said. By the time fire crews left, the pumps had been restarted. Patton Township police directed traffic away from the Sheetz while fire crews worked.

The store is open.

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