Car erupts into flames at the border

Alex Range’s van caught fire in the commercial lane on Thursday, September 14./ Photo by Chris Patterson

By Meg Olson

Community members have started a fundraising campaign to help a local tradesman get back on his feet after a spontaneous fire destroyed his vehicle and tools at the port of entry.

Just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, September 14, Alex Range’s cargo van caught fire as he was entering the Point in the commercial lane. Witnesses reported the vehicle belched smoke for approximately 10 minutes before bursting into flames.

Alex Range’s van and tools did not survive the fire. / Photo courtesy of the Whatcom County Fire Department

Fire crews arrived seven minutes after dispatch and extinguished the blaze. “The engine compartment and the front cab were heavily damaged,” fire chief Christopher Carleton said.

The border was closed for approximately 20 minutes.

Range lost his vehicle and all of his tools. Friends have set up a GoFundMe account to help him replace these items so he can get back to work. Those interested in donating can visit

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