03/11/2015 08:13 EDT | Updated 05/11/2015 05:59 EDT

How a Guelph pothole caused a family car to catch fire

A Guelph family of four managed to escape a burning car without injury Tuesday night after police say their car was completely destroyed after catching fire when it hit a pothole caused by repair work on a section of Alma Street North.

The family, two parents and two young children, were heading north on Alma Street North around 8:10 p.m. in a 1997 Chrysler Breeze when they hit a section of temporary asphalt that had sunken in, according to police. 

The section was so uneven that the car actually bottomed out, causing extensive damage to the vehicle's undercarriage and oil pan.

Police said the family didn't realize at first the car had caught fire as a result of the bump, so they kept driving until pedestrians flagged down the driver.

The family escaped without injury, but the car was destroyed in the fire.  Police say the fire, in combination with the damage to the undercarriage, caused $5000 in damage. 

Because so much oil, gas, and foam fire retardant were left on the road after the car fire, Alma Street was closed so a contractor could do an environmental cleanup.