CFA was called to reports of a car fire on Janesdell Avenue at 12.13pm where a fire had ignited within the engine area of a sedan.
Sassafras and Ferny Creek firefighters fully extinguished the fire by 12.25pm and discovered an build-up of bark, twigs, leaves and other materials underneath the bonnet.
One unit from Sassafras and Ferny Creek Fire Brigade attended the scene and the car was handed back to its owners at 12.41pm.
Sassafras and Ferny Creek 3rd Lieutenant John Schauble said as a result of isolation guidelines, the car owner had not used the vehicle in many weeks which allowed for the rat to gradually build its nest inside the vehicle.
“One quick trip to the supermarket without a check over the vehicle was enough to ignite the significant nest of materials collected by the rodents,” Lt Schauble said.
“The owners noticed the vehicle was emitting smoke once they have arrived home and extinguished most of the fire before we arrived.
“This is not an unusual occurrence; it can be quite common for rats to reside in engine bays inside vehicles that haven’t been used in some time.
“Thanks to the quick thinking of the owners the car wasn’t as severely damaged as it could have been and the house the vehicle was parked next to was potentially saved from being impacted as well.”
Lt Schauble said this incident serves as a timely reminder for people to check that their vehicles haven’t been inhabited by pests if they haven’t driven it in some time.
“Especially during this time when people are doing the right thing by staying home, if you plan on leaving your home for essential activities make sure to have a quick check under the bonnet if your vehicle has been unused for some time,” he said.