WATERVILLE — A car was totaled after a belt underneath the hood caught on fire and ignited the oils in the engine Monday afternoon, fire officials said, and firefighters soon after found themselves putting out a blaze in a Dumpster.

A man driving a 2005 Nissan Altima north on Interstate 95 noticed his car was making weird noises in between the Waterville exits, Capt. Rodney Alderman said.

The man pulled over on Messalonskee Bridge and opened the hood, thought he had put out the fire, which started at a belt in the vehicle, and so closed the hood. According to Alderman, the fire ignited the oils in the engine at that time, and the fire spread to the interior of the car as well, destroying it.

When firefighters arrived around 4 p.m., the fire was “fully involved.” They were able to control traffic and extinguish the fire, returning to the station before 5 p.m.

No one was injured. Alderman didn’t have the driver’s name at the time of the interview.

At 4:40 p.m., the fire department received a call about a Dumpster fire at 13 Hillside Ave., Alderman said. The building is an apartment complex owned by the Waterville Housing Authority.

The Dumpster fire was also fully involved when firefighters arrived, he said, and took about 15 minutes to extinguish. The fire posed no immediate risk to the building, as the closest one was about 30 feet away.

The cause of the fire was undetermined, Alderman said. He couldn’t say whether the cause was suspicious or not.

“There are any number of reasons it could’ve caught on fire,” he said.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour

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