Mantua fire department encounters vehicle fires on Route 55

Officials believe transmission in both vehicles overheated

Mantua Township Fire Department. Mantua firefighters responded to the blazes in the northbound lanes of Route 55 on March 15.

The Mantua fire department extinguished two separate car fires within hours of each other on March 15, both as they were towed from the northbound lanes of Route 55.

Fire officials believe both unoccupied cars burst into flames because they were being towed backwards from the road. There were no injuries. 

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The first blaze occurred around noon at mile marker 57.8 as the car involved was being towed during a trip from COPart – an auto auctioneer in Glassboro – to an unknown destination. The likely cause was that the car’s transmission overheated and ignited the vehicle, officials said.  

COPart has been operating in the region for more than 40 years, according to the company’s Facebook page, with two locations in Glassboro.

The second blaze happened around 5 p.m. at exit 56, again as the car involved was being towed backwards from COPart. Deputy Fire Chief Brian Hauss said it appeared the second car’s fire also resulted from an overheated transmission.

COPart has yet to comment on the fires. 

Traffic was largely unaffected in both cases and no other vehicles were involved.

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