Recently repaired car bursts into flames, closes Port’s Grand Avenue Tuesday


Ozaukee Press staff

Grand Avenue, one of Port Washington’s main streets, was closed for about an hour Tuesday morning after a car burst into flames.

Fire Chief Mark Mitchell said a Port ambulance returning from a call when the crew noticed the car on fire outside 847 W. Grand Ave. at 8:08 a.m. and reported it.

The crew stopped and used an extinguisher they had on the ambulance to try and put out the fire to no avail, he said.

The car, a 2006 Lincoln Town Car, was engulfed by the time the fire department arrived.

“It was pretty much fully involved,” Mitchell said.

The owner of the car, Carl Schowalter  of Port Washington, told officials that he recently had the Town Car in for repairs and that while he was driving it Tuesday morning the engine started to sputter.

According to Mitchell, Schowalter said he noticed smoke coming from the engine compartment and pulled over.

The fire spread so quickly that Schowalter was lucky he got out when he did, Mitchell said.

Because the fire started in the engine compartment, it’s difficult to determine the cause but Mitchell said it likely was a mechanical issue, with fuel igniting when it hit the hot manifold.

The Police Department closed Grand Avenue for about an hour while firefighters were on the scene, he said.

Firefighters used about 500 gallons of water on the fire, and with temperatures in the single digits, the Street Department was called out to salt the street before Grand Avenue was reopened.


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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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Port Washington, WI 53074
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