Police investigate mystery car fire

Fire and police officials suspect arson was the cause of a mysterious vehicle fire on a quiet San Mateo street early Wednesday morning.

Just after 5 a.m., fire officials responded to reports that a Chrysler PT Cruiser was on fire on the 3200 block of Los Prados Street, south of Hillsdale Boulevard and east of U.S. Highway 101.

Though the flames were quelled without much trouble, the case was unusual enough that officials decided to call the fire marshal and police, said John Healy, deputy chief of the San Mateo Fire Department.

Because the fire consumed the outside and cab of the vehicle — which had apparently been parked there for more than a day — rather than its engine, “it was determined to be suspicious,” he said.

San Mateo Police Lt. Mike Brunicardi said the case is being inspected but would not comment further because the case is still open.

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