International Student Loses Car in Wick Parking Deck Fire

By J. Harvard Feldhouse

At around 9 a.m. on April 1, a gray 2012 BMW caught fire on the third level of the M30 Wick Parking Deck at Youngstown State University.

The owner of the car, Khaled Bin Thani, a sophomore industrial engineering major, was on his way to class when he found out.

“Someone called me and said there was a fire on a BMW, so I just ran,” Bin T said. “Then, I see my car is burning. There was a lot of fire, so I got the security man.”

Photo by J. Harvard Feldhouse

The Youngstown Fire Department acted quickly to quell the heavy smoke.

“When the crew got here, they encountered heavy smoke coming from level three, and they found a car fire with the engine burning,” Youngstown Fire Department Battalion Chief Gary DiTullio said. “They confined it to that car, but there’s a little bit of heat damage to the adjacent cars.”

The BMW was parked between a gray Honda Accord and a black Dodge Charger.

Bin Thani encountered no problems with his car when he drove to YSU. In an instant, the car was ruined, and he has no clear plan for recovering from this incident.

Photo by J. Harvard Feldhouse

“I’m not going to do anything because I don’t think I can fix that,” Bin Thani said. “My insurance isn’t full coverage, so I’m just going to leave the car and move on.”

Bin T is an international student from Kuwait. He transferred to YSU this year after first studying in San Diego, California. He bought the car from a dealership there and brought it with him to YSU.

This isn’t the first time cars have caught on fire in YSU parking decks. DiTullio said the fire department has a procedure in place to handle these kinds of situations. As of now, the fire department is working to uncover the cause of the fire.