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Flaming Cherokee hits TV news

by David Zatz on

Readers of — and many on Facebook and Twitter — were greeted by this image today, which on close examination turns out to be a car fire.

The reason for the 2018 Cherokee’s blaze is unknown; its owner, SSG Joseph Lewis of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, said he was driving on the base on Saturday night when the dashboard started to malfunction; the Jeep then stalled and would not restart, and there was an “electrical smell.”  He saw a flame between the windshield and hood, popped the hood, and left the vehicle, unharmed, when flames shot out.

The base fire department had the flames out after around 30 minutes.  Lewis had purchased the car on January 6, and said he did not know what had caused the problem.

The 2018 Cherokee was mostly unchanged from 2017; the first-generation Cherokees have generally not seen issues of this kind before.

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