The 2011 Dodge Durango Citadel shown in the video-captured image above (Credit: Jonathan Douglass) and the video below was reportedly towing a parade float during the 2011 Washington DC Cherry Blossom Parade when smoke began coming from around the edges of the hood. The driver stopped the vehicle and opened the hood to investigate at which point the engine burst into flames. It looks as though the fire began on the rear passenger-side area of the engine bay before spreading. Luckily, like all parades the Washington DC Cherry Blossom Parade had some firefighters involved so the fire was extinguished quickly – but not before there was plenty of video of Dodge’s sexy new sport ute burning in the middle of a public event.
There has been no official word as to what engine was in the 2011 Dodge Durango Citadel which is shown burning, but if you look careful in the first video posted below, it looks as though this vehicle has the long plastic air intake housing that runs across the front of the engine bay. Also, before the fire spreads (again in Video 1), notice what looks to be a grey strip running along the top of the engine cover. The 5.7L Hemi engine cover used in the Durango has a gray center section and with the plastic piece along the front of the engine bay, it leads me to believe that this was a Hemi Durango. (click here for a look at the engines available in the 2011 Durango up close, providing a good look at the engine cover and intake system of the Hemi) This engine has been heavily used in towing situation in a variety of vehicles without any prior fire problems so this looks to be an isolated incident. If the vehicle was not properly equipped to pull a tremendous amount of weight, it could cause a variety of problems…especially when the SUV is being overworked while creeping along a parade route.
Check out the video below for a closer look at the 2011 Dodge Durango on fire at the Washington DC Cherry Blossom Parade. The first video shows the vehicle right after the hood was opened, including when the flames become visible. The second video shows the fire really getting out of hand and the final video shows the firefighters putting the fire out.
I’ve had the pleasure of spending a few hours touring the California coast in a Hemi-powered 2011 Dodge Durango Citadel and it is an incredible vehicle (as well as being an incredible improvement over the prior Durango). The unibody construction allows the 2011 Durango to handle like a sports car and the 5.7L Hemi engine adds plenty of getup-and-go. Even though this incident could have very well been the fault of the operator if the SUV was being overworked, this Durango fire is likely to present a punch in the eye for Chrysler. Now, it will be interesting to see how the folks under the Pentastar manage this issue to see whether that proverbial punch leaves a black eye or not.
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