Of all days …
Justin and I switched cars yesterday; we’ve been having issues with the air conditioning in the Civic, so I brought it in to see if my dad could provide a fix before we have to send it to the dealership (Note: not so lucky on the a/c front. Oh well.).
Meanwhile, because of the swap and just 13 miles away, our “less than a year old” car was parked just one space away from this mess:
Cool, huh? Luckily, Justin’s boss looked out the window and noticed the smoke early on, giving Justin and another co-worker time to run out and move their cars away from the inferno. Had anything happened to the car Justin had yesterday, it would not have been pretty. (The car I had, on the other hand, could have gone. It’s an ’02 with 199,000 miles … though I still love her, she’s a bit more disposable than our newer car!)
Notice the guys standing along the left side of the photo at the front of the silver car? Apparently one of them had a fire extinguisher in his hand that could have at least helped prevent the rapid growth of the flames, but instead he thought the fire extinguisher was more helpful unused and by his side. Nice. The car, along with the bushes, continued to burn until the fire department arrived several minutes later.
It seems the driver of the flaming car spent 20 minutes or so in his/her vehicle on a phone call, turned off the car and exited. The thought is that the hot exhaust on a 90+ degree day ignited the bushes, and then the bushes ignited the back of the car. Luckily, the driver was inside the building, not the car, before the fire started, so s/he escaped any injuries.