Morning commute slowed due to car fire

NAUGATUCK — A car fire backed up the morning commute Thursday on Route 8 North.

The fire briefly shut down the highway near exit 26.

Fire Captain John Debisschop said the call came into the firehouse at 8:16 a.m. When firefighters arrived on the scene, the car was already on fire, he said.

“It appeared to be that the area of origin was the engine compartment,” Debisschop said.

Debisschop said the cause of the fire remains under investigation. The driver, who was the only occupant of the vehicle, escaped without harm and was waiting outside the vehicle when the firefighters arrived, he said.

The fire department shut down both lanes of the highway while they extinguished the fire. Once the fire was out, one lane was reopened to allow traffic to pass, he said.

Debisschop said the car was towed away at about 8:50 a.m. and both lanes were reopened.