Car damaged in midnight fire


A 1985 Chevrolet Cavalier was damaged by fire early Tuesday at 34 Bernard Circle in Tisbury.

According to a police report, when officers arrived at 12:37 am, the station wagon had flames coming from it. Police asked two people to move their vehicles so that fire trucks would have access to the car fire. Several people at the scene showed signs of intoxication, according to the report.

A fuel can was located behind the vehicle, and there was hay on the back seat of the car, according to the police report.

A witness at the scene told police they had attempted to use jumper cables to start the car so it could be moved for a home inspection later that day, the report states. They couldn’t get the car started, and went on a ride to Cumberland Farms, according to the report. Shortly after they returned, one of them reported the fire, the report states.

A male at the scene was described as becoming “defensive” and refusing to cooperate with police as an officer asked questions about the car, according to the report.

Fire Chief John Schilling told the officer that he did not believe arson was a factor, saying the fire started “outside the vehicle,” according to the report.

In a follow-up interview with The Times, Schilling said given the vehicle’s age, and the fact that it was unregistered and uninsured, there was no reason to launch an in-depth investigation. The chief said the attempt to jump-start the vehicle was likely a factor in the fire. “It was a poor attempt,” he said.

No one was injured, and the fire was contained to the vehicle, he said.