SEBRING — Things got hot under the collar for the driver of a black Lincoln on Sunday afternoon as the car he was driving caught fire. If that wasn’t bad enough, the Lincoln was parked next to a gas pump at the Gate station at the intersection of U.S. 27 and Flare Road.

The incident was reported around 1:45 p.m. Sunday. City of Sebring firefighters were on the scene in about three minutes. Sebring Fire Capt. Austin Maddox said crews could see a column of smoke in the distance while they were en route to the scene.

Gate employees activated the emergency shut off switch before the firefighters’ arrival, Maddox said. Onlookers told emergency personnel the fire originated from the engine compartment of the Lincoln. Authorities said witnesses to the vehicle fire tried to put the fire out themselves.

“Bystanders tried to using a fire extinguisher but the fire was too involved,” Maddox said.

As soon as Aerial 15 (ladder truck from City of Sebring station 15) arrived, they made “a quick attack on the engine compartment containing the fire,” Maddox said.

Maddox said the fire was probably started from an electrical problem in the engine. He reported no one was injured.

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