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Leaving water bottles in hot cars can have unexpected consequences, officials warn

There are several things that shouldn't be left in a car during summer months. Believe it or not, water bottles fall under that list.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The problem isn't as clear as the culprit, but with more hot days ahead, officials are warning about the hidden dangers the sun can spark.

"I was taking a little bit of an early lunch," said a contract worker. "I was sitting in the truck and happened to notice some smoke out of the corner of my eye."

Light was penetrating through his water bottle and his seat started smoking.

"Beam from the sun will penetrate or reflect through and it'll create a heat pad underneath the bottle and it can catch it on fire," said Aubrey Jenkins, Columbia Fire Chief.

Another hidden hazard potentially sitting in your cup holder is the chemicals that seep into your water if it's left in sun for too long.

"Anything that's heated can leak the chemicals that make it," a health professional said. "So the hotter you make anything the more likely it is to liquefy or vaporize or get put into whatever liquid medium it's next to."

And then there's this gift from above that officials warn about -- exploding sunroofs.

"I'll be like 'Yeah, my sunroof exploded,' and they'll be like, 'Wait what, say that again,' and I'll be like, 'Yeah, my sunroof exploded,'" one woman said.

Hundreds of reports to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over the year detail a dangerous drive for folks behind the wheel.

"It happens more often than you think -- you'll be driving down the road and it'll pop," said a mechanic.


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