LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A car engine may be to blame for starting a garage fire in the northwest valley on Friday evening, according to a Las Vegas family.

Northwest Las Vegas valley garage fire on Nov. 4, 2022. (KLAS)

The Sharp family told 8 News Now they want to spread awareness in hopes others will be vigilant.

“You just don’t expect your own car to self-implode and explode,” said Cody Sharp.

Sharp’s young daughter alerted him, her uncle Eli and grandmother Doree Seaver after hearing a popping noise from the garage.

“When I opened the garage door, it was a wall of fire. It looked like a dragon was in my garage. It hit me pretty hard, and I knew there was no saving it,” explained Sharp. “So, I grabbed my daughter and left.”

With no time to react and just the clothes on their back, the family grabbed the pets and ran out the front door.

“As far as the firefighters are concerned, they were fairly adamant that was probably the cause and the car had been off for hours. It’s not like we just pulled in and left the car running,” Sharp said. “I hope that’s not the case. I really hope the vehicle did not cause the entire house to burn down because that would be horrible, and it would put a lot of people at risk with those with a similar vehicle. This is not an old vehicle, it’s a 2019 Chevy Trax.”

Victor Botnari, owner of Universal Motorcars said while car engine fires are uncommon, they can still happen, and a routine inspection may help.

“That’s most likely from an electrical problem,” Botnari said. “Ask a technician to check for leaks, make sure everything looks good. Take a quick look at the wiring harness and with things like this I don’t recommend installing after-market systems.”

While the family said it’s not easy to pick up the pieces, it’s much easier knowing they are thankful to have survived and still have each other.

Sharp said the investigation into the fire is still ongoing and may take a few weeks. 

“It’s horrible, it’s hard. Photos you know and things you can’t replace are the roughest part, but everything is replaceable,” added Sharp. “I think no matter what would’ve happened, we wouldn’t have been able to stop it but awareness, you just have to be careful. You never know how long something can go on without you knowing until it’s too late.”

The family has lost everything in the fire and Doree’s coworker is taking donations on the family’s behalf.

They are in need of clothes, food, toiletries, and basic necessities. For more information contact the following email address: helpdoree@camconevada.com.