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Mangled Metal, Legal Questions Left by Blast

The explosion and fire that destroyed a Tredyffrin Police Car may be linked to others.

Mangled Metal, Legal Questions Left by Blast Mangled Metal, Legal Questions Left by Blast

may be linked to other Dodge Charger police car problems around the country.

Tredyffrin Police Patrol Car 23 is a 2011 Dodge Charger. There have been other problems with 2011 and 2012 Dodge Charger police vehicles involving electrical problems.

A sheriff's department Dodge Charger patrol car was destroyed in a similar, spectacular blaze earlier this year. Chrysler settled that case, agreeing to pay for the car but the sheriff's department agreed to non-disclosure clause in the settlement.

Another problems involving front headlights, prompted chrysler to recall nearly 10,000 of the 2011-2012 model Dodge Charger poolice cars. The front wiring and headlights were apparently not a factor in the Tredyffrin Police Car Fire.

Tredyffrin Police Superintendent Anthony Giaimo tells TE Patch the fire in Patrol Car 23 is believed to have started in wiring in or near a rear wheel well. The Chester County and Police investigators are going over the burned out wreckage of the car with a fine tooth comb to pinpoint the exact source and cause of the fire. 

The Berwyn Fire Company says the explosion may have been caused when fire in the trunk of the car ignited a small oxygen tank which is part of an emergency medical kit carried by police.  The unidentified officer was able to get her firearms and ammunition out of the car as she esacped the fire.

The Tredyffrin Police Department released the following statement Tuesday afternoon:

On Saturday, September 1st, 2012 at approximately 2 PM a Tredyffrin Township Police Department patrol unit was patrolling in the area of Country Gate Drive. This area is in the Wayne section of Tredyffrin Township.

The officer smelled something burning and saw smoke coming from rear interior of the car and exited to investigate. The officer immediately contacted Chester County Police Radio and requested a fire department response. Upon the arrival of a second officer, the car trunk was opened and attempts were made to extinguish the fire with negative results.   

Within a short period of time and prior to the arrival of Berwyn Fire Company, the vehicle became fully engulfed in flames. The Berwyn Fire Department arrived a short time later and extinguished the blaze. The vehicle was rendered non-operational and later towed from the scene to a secure holding facility for further investigation.  No injuries were sustained by the emergency responders, officers or local residents.

The Chester County Fire Marshal’s Office is continuing the investigation and will shortly issue a report. At the time of this release, a preliminary source of the blaze has been attributed to the area of the secondary power distribution system located in the trunk of the car.  

Superintendent Anthony Giaimo stated that he was pleased to report that no injuries were  sustained by officers, responders or community members. Tredyffrin Township Police Department is continuing to investigate, along with the Chester County Fire Marshal’s Office to reduce the likelihood of any possible future events of this nature. Superintendent Anthony Giaimo expresses his sincere gratitude to the men and women of the Berwyn Fire Company and the Chester County Fire Marshal’s Office for their quick response.

Superintendent Giaimo says the police officer's name is not being released in order preserve her privacy. Neither the officer nor any firefighters were injured in the fire and explosion.

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