Cop car catches fire during pursuit of a subject

Officer escapes fire without injury

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Fort Lauderdale police car caught fire during the search for and pursuit of a subject early Monday morning. 

A chain of events led to that patrol car to catch fire. Fort Lauderdale police said it began in a shopping plaza early Monday morning as one of the businesses was being burglarized.

It ended with a Fort Lauderdale police car fully engulfed in flames. The female officer inside got out of the vehicle and was unhurt.

At this point, police don't know how the fire began, but the officer was involved in the pursuit of the burglary suspect.

Police did catch up to the suspect off State Road 84, near the Broward shipyards, but he bailed out of the pickup truck he was driving and ran away. Police are still looking for him.

When the fire was finally extinguished, the damage it left behind was extensive. Essentially, the entire back half of the car burned up.

Now, investigators are trying to figure out how that fire began in the first place.

Years ago, there was a problem with similar police cars catching fire after a rear-end impact punctured the gas tank, but this car didn't appear to have any damage from an accident.

It could have overheated during the chase, but the engine is up front. A police representative did say officers store their road flares in the trunk, but it is too early in the investigation to tell if that could have been the cause of the fire.

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