Car fire leads to back-ups on I-395 in Norwich

Norwich – Traffic was backed up for a time on Interstate 395 South Wednesday as firefighters battled a blaze that destroyed a car in the right shoulder.

Yantic and Occum fire departments responded to the scene at 2:52 p.m., arriving to find the car engulfed in flames but the driver out of the car and unharmed. The fire occurred about a half mile south of Exit 83.

Yantic Fire Chief Frank Blanchard said several good Samaritans had stopped to try and extinguish the flames with a fire extinguisher but were unsuccessful.

The highway was completely closed for about 20 minutes before one lane was reopened. Blanchard said he thinks the car was a Toyota Camry.

State police and the state Department of Transportation joined firefighters at the scene, one of several fires and accidents Blanchard said have occurred in the area in recent weeks. Firefighters spent time at the scene of an overturned rental truck on Tuesday.

“We’ve been spending a lot of time on limited access highways lately,” he said.

Blanchard is calling on commuters for patience when back-ups occur. Fire trucks encountered a driver exiting the highway off an on-ramp to avoid the backup, a potentially dangerous situation, he said.

The Norwich fire marshal’s office is investigating the cause of the fire.

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