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Vicki Hill woke up to explosions outside her home in Bethesda, Maryland, only to find that the family’s SUV, a 2015 Nissan Murano parked in the driveway, was on fire. The cause of the fire remains unknown and is under investigation by Nissan and the National Highway Traffic Administration. Video footage from the home’s doorbell camera captured the smoke before the fire erupted and engulfed the car.

Nissan has opened an investigation into the incident, stating that the safety and security of their customers is their primary concern. The family’s Murano had been recalled by Nissan in 2016 and 2019 due to a problem that could cause brake fluid to leak and start a fire while the vehicle is parked. An unrepaired recall on the car led to speculation that it could have caused the fire, but the couple claimed the repair was done and provided a receipt from the dealership. The Hills were unaware of the fire risks because they believed the recall work had been completed.

The couple’s two cars were parked in the driveway due to garage repairs, and the close proximity of the burning Murano to the house raised concerns about potential damage to their home. The intense flames from the Nissan also damaged the family’s other car, rendering it unusable. Initially, the Hills suspected vandalism, but the video footage from their doorbell camera showed the vehicle spontaneously combusting. Nissan took possession of the Murano for further investigation.

Vehicle fires are not uncommon, with an estimated 188,500 car and truck fires occurring in the United States in 2022, resulting in an average of more than 500 fires per day. These fires caused 610 civilian deaths that year, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Despite the alarming nature of the Hills’ situation, incidents of vehicle fires are a frequent occurrence, highlighting the importance of proper maintenance and awareness of potential risks associated with vehicle recalls.

The Hills credited a neighbor’s dog with saving them and their three children by alerting the neighbor, who called 911 after seeing the fire. The close proximity of the burning car to the house and garage posed a significant risk, with the garage door melting from the flames. The family expressed gratitude for their safety and the timely response of emergency services. The damaged vehicles and property serve as a reminder of the potential dangers associated with vehicle fires and the importance of taking preventive measures to ensure the safety of individuals and their surroundings.

As investigations continue into the cause of the fire, the Hills await further updates and information from Nissan and the relevant authorities. The incident serves as a cautionary tale about the risks of vehicle fires and the importance of addressing recalls promptly to prevent potentially dangerous situations. Despite the harrowing experience, the Hills are grateful for the support of their community and the safety of their family amid the unexpected fire incident.

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