A vehicle fire early Friday morning brought traffic to a standstill northwest of Ste. Anne.

The Tache Fire Department responded to the call at 7:25 am. Fire Chief Allan Rau says they were dispatched to the westbound lanes of the Trans Canada Highway, just west of Highway 12.

Rau says crews arrived to find a 1998 Toyota Camry engulfed in flames.

"The traffic was already backing up quite a bit because of the northwest wind," reports Rau. "It was blowing the black smoke across the highway, so everybody stopped and didn't go through that smoke area."

Rau says the motorist and lone occupant claims he noticed smoke inside his vehicle while driving. At the same time, the driver of a nearby vehicle motioned for him to pull over. That eyewitness says the fire was coming from the engine compartment.

There were no injuries, though the car is a total loss. According to Rau, the vehicle had been burning for a while before it was called in. He adds the strong winds only fuelled the fire. 

The scene was cleared at around 8:30 am.

Rau cautions that there is now quite a bit of ice on the highway, because of all the water used to put out the fire. He notes the province has been contacted to take care of that problem.