Riverhead firefighters quickly doused a vehicle fire on Hallet Street Wednesday afternoon.

The Izuzu Trooper SUV was parked in the driveway just a few feet from a dwelling. The vehicle was not running when heavy gray smoke began pouring out of the engine compartment, according to First Assistant Chief Kevin Brooks.

Brooks was the first firefighter to arrive at the scene. He discovered the vehicle’s hood latch was inoperable, so he was not able to use a fire extinguisher to knock the fire down and a resident’s efforts with a garden hose were not fruitful.

Two engines were on scene within minutes of the 2:35 p.m. alarm and firefighters were able to pry open the SUV’s hood enough to put water directly into the engine compartment. The fire was rapidly extinguished.

Brooks said he was not able to determine how the fire started but it seemed to originate in the area of the battery. The vehicle owner said she just had the car repaired, Brooks said. It has a “for sale” sign in the rear window.

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.