Thursday, November 5, 2009

Car Fume Detoxifier Causes Wildfire near the 60 Freeway

The wildfire near the 60 Freeway may have been caused by sparks that flew from a defective catalytic converter of a pickup, authorities said.

The wildfire caused a big traffic jam on the 60 and 57 Freeways, as commuters were advised to take alternative routes to their destination.

Several fires started almost at the same time at about 11:45 a.m. and spread to about 50 acres.

It gave a lot of people a scare as most believed that this is another case of arson.

Fire officials announced that the fire was mostly out by 2 pm.

The fire caused 4 smoke inhalation injuries, plus one firefighter being treated for heat exhaustion.

Fire officials later said that an overheated catalytic converter – a device that converts exhaust before it exits the tail pipe- may have triggered the fire.

If that is the case, the manufacturer of the catalytic converter may be held liable for the property damage and personal injuries that the fire caused.

Under the product liability law, if a product is proven to have a safety defect that caused injury or death, the manufacturer of the product will assume responsibility despite the lack of negligence.

Besides, a cataclysmic converter is a device that is supposed to help the environment.

Once it becomes defective, it ceases to serve its purpose and may even cause an environmental accident.