Car Bursts Into Flames on Ninth Street

photo(186)Daniel Maurer The car’s windows were shattered and its hood discarded.

A car mysteriously caught fire this morning on East Ninth Street between First and Second Avenues.

The Acura TL was parked on the quaint tree-lined block in front of the Meg boutique and across from the Mud Spot. A firefighter said the engine area of the unoccupied car caught fire shortly before 7:30 a.m. The cause was unknown.

Mike Sipser, a Boston resident visiting the city, witnessed the event. “I came out, and there was already smoke coming out of it and then the front of the car just burst into flames,” he said. The owner, he said, was nowhere to be seen.

According to a mechanic, Pablo Maurer, fires in unattended vehicles are rare, but in urban areas are usually the result of rats gnawing on insulation to create a nest; exposed wires can then short circuit.