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Wrangler lines running again after fire

by Bill Cawthon on

Wranglers are rolling off the line again after production was halted Tuesday because of a small fire in the Toledo Assembly Complex.

Fiat Chrysler spokeswoman Jodi Tinson told Allpar that a small “barbecue-sized” fire started in one of the curing ovens in the paint shop.


An emergency call was placed about 4:30 PM and the shop was evacuated. The Toledo Fire Department responded and extinguished the fire by 5:45 PM. Quoted in Wednesday’s Toledo Blade, Toledo Fire Lt. Matthew Hertzfeld said that two firefighters were injured. One was treated at the scene and the other was transported to a hospital.

Assembly was halted for a few hours, but paint shop operations resumed last night and the assembly line started on schedule this morning. Cherokee production, which takes place in a different building, was not affected by the fire.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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