How Fast Can a Vehicle Fire Develop?

I recently investigated a fire that involved a lawn tractor.  Immediately after starting the vehicle, the owner of the tractor noticed a few small flames coming from the base of the engine and assumed that he could put the fire out himself.  He backed the tractor out of his shed and went to get an extinguisher from his house.  He returned a minute later to find the tractor engulfed in flame; the entire tractor was consumed in mere minutes.  Fortunately no one was injured.

The owner acted fast, but the fire was faster.  When dealing with a fire do what you can, but don't be a hero - that's what fire fighters are for.