Catalytic converter ignites fire in SLO

July 20, 2022


A vehicle’s catalytic converter sparked a fire that charred land along Broad Street in San Luis Obispo on Tuesday, but the quick reaction of a bystander helped keep the blaze from spreading very far.

The fire broke out at about 3:45 p.m. near 3550 Broad Street. A bystander helped keep the blaze from spreading by immediately calling 911 and using a fire extinguisher, according to the San Luis Obispo Fire Department.

San Luis Obispo firefighters and Cal Fire personnel arrived and extinguished the fire, that burned a 10 feet by 10 feet stretch of vegetation alongside Broad Street.

Authorities temporarily closed one lane of Broad Street as firefighters dealt with the blaze.

Investigators determined a catalytic converter caused the fire. The fire department advises drivers to properly maintain their vehicles and not pull over into dead grass, which easily ignites.


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Dry grass and hot catalytic converters result in fires, but I would say that they are caused by people. Please don’t pull into dry grass and get your vehicle repaired when it’s not running correctly, or the check engine light is on.

Apparently, the catalytic converter thieves are saving the planet…

its time to pass a bill to sue auto makers to get these dangerous fire starters banned. :)

I think this is the third local fire I have read about that a catalytic converter started. It’s ironic that electric vehicle fires seem to grab the sensational headlines and fears. I haven’t heard about any of those around here this summer.