Thursday, July 10, 2008

Car Fire

12;20am on 7/10/08 saw the volunteer fire department pager go off for a car fire a mile from my home. Since the page said flames were seen under the vehicle, I paused to grab my fire extinguisher on the way out the door. As it happens, that was an optimistic action on my part.

There were bystanders and a sheriff on scene when I arrived, but they were well back from the car because it was fully involved. Flames were four feet or more above the roof of the vehicle. Interestingly, there was no driver or owner present.

I put on my structure turnouts, grabbed my McCloud (a fire fighting hand tool, kind of like a metal rake on sterioids) and briefly worked around the vehicle, keeping the fire from spreading into the surrounding grass & brush, and trying to stay out of the thick smoke vehicle fires always produce. A couple of minutes later our department's water tender arrived. I pulled a hose, the chief fired up the pump, and I put out the fire. Just about the time I had it out our primary response engine arrived on scene to back us up.

This is probably one of those cases where I'll never learn what happened, but if someone deliberately set this fire they deserve more than whatever penalty the law can throw their way. If we'd had any winds at all it could have spread quickly and caused serious loss of property and injury, or even death. Again, assuming it was deliberate, I've got more than a few choice words for whoever did this.

Thankfully we got this one out quickly and kept things from getting too exciting. At some point I'll go back to sleep.