A hand sanitizer bottle on the dashboard of a car started a fire on Thursday. | Photos provided by the Waukegan Fire Department.

Fire officials are warning the public after hand sanitizer sitting in a vehicle ignited a fire Thursday afternoon in Waukegan.

The Waukegan Fire Department responded around 12:45 p.m. Thursday to the 400 block of Pioneer Road for a report of a vehicle fire.

Waukegan Fire Marshal Steven Lenzi said that the fire was out by the time firefighters arrived. The vehicle owner had sprayed a small amount of water through a hole in the windshield.

Lenzi said that nothing inside the vehicle was wet, giving the impression that the fire went out due to lack of oxygen.

A preliminary investigation was completed and the fire appears to be caused by a small bottle of hand sanitizer that was left on the dashboard, Lenzi said.

“It appears sunlight shining through the windshield onto the sanitizer was enough to cause ignition,” he said.

[Suggested Article]  'Most wanted' suspect with 14 warrants following police chase, other crimes captured at Libertyville motel

The vehicle owner had been refilling the bottle with 80% alcohol sanitizer provided by their employer.

“The Waukegan Fire Department is aware of other incidents similar to this happening as more and more people are using a higher alcohol concentration hand sanitizer due to our current pandemic,” the department said in a statement.

Fire officials urge the public not to keep hand sanitizer in vehicles during the summer.