Last night Mrs. E and I were making our holiday 8-hour drive to St. Louis to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with my Most Awesome In-laws. About 30 miles from our destination, Mrs. E commented that she had been smelling smoke for the past couple of minutes. I agreed, saying that there was probably a fire somewhere nearby. Just then the battery light on my dashboard began to flicker then it came on and stayed on. We drove a bit more thinking it was probably the alternator. When a weird repetitive clicking noise came on, we decide to pull over even though the car was actually driving normally.
Sure enough, smoke was coming from under the hood. I opened it and Whoa! Flames! We tried sprinkling some water on it but that was obviously not going to work so I slammed the hood and we proceeded to get everything we could out of the car. Computers, Mrs. E’s photo equipment, luggage, Obama posters, food for the Thanksgiving feast, iPod, etc. Meanwhile, Mrs. E called 911.
20 minutes later the firetruck arrived. By this time there were flames shooting 25 feet into the air, both front tires had exploded and the windshield had blown out. We kept moving our pile of stuff farther and farther from the car, waiting for the Big Explosion that would inevitably come when the flames reached the gas tank. Thankfully the firemen put out the conflagration before that happened.
So here’s what a VW Jetta Wagon looks like after it catches on fire on the side of the highway in Illinois, just east of the Mississippi River.
The Mr.E-Mobile in Flames While Mr. E Moves Stuff
As The Fireman Hose Down the Burning Jetta
After the Fire
Me talking to the State Trooper
The amazing thing is that, considering how much damage was done in the engine compartment, the only impact inside the passenger section was that the dashboard melted. In fact, the rear part of the car was intact enough that they were able to tow it away.
But we’re fine, our stuff is fine and nobody got hurt. So, despite the fact that my car is a completely totaled disaster, we’re actually pretty thankful this morning.
I’m just sayin’…