PITTSBURGH (KDKA/CBS News) — As hot and humid temperatures hit Western Pennsylvania, first responders have a warning about bottled water.
Firefighters want to warn people that leaving a plastic bottle of water in a hot car and direct sunlight can start a fire in just a couple of minutes.
While the warning is not new, fire departments across the country continue to warn the public of the potential risks.
In 2017, CBS News did a report on plastic water bottles left in a hot vehicle in Idaho. The bottle caused the vehicle’s seat to begin burning.
While working outside in blistering 100-degree heat in Boise, Idaho, Dioni Amuchastegui unknowingly made a dangerous mistake — he left bottled water in the front seat of his truck.
Amuchastegui had no idea a small plastic water bottle had the potential to start a fire. But that’s exactly what happened.
“I was taking an early lunch, sitting in the truck, I happened to notice some smoke out of the corner of my eye,” Amuchastegui explained. “I looked over and realized light was being refracted from a water bottle and was starting to catch the seat on fire.”
“A lot of people on his team thought he was making it up,” Melissa Thom, a corporate communications specialist for Idaho Power, told CBS News. “Everybody was shocked.”
But with supervision from the company’s safety director, Amuchastegui decided to re-create the alarming incident in a minute-long video that was posted on the company’s Facebook page early last month.
Other fire stations across the country also ran their own tests.
Firefighters say to store water bottles in a trunk as long as it’s out of direct sunlight or in a cooler.