March 2003 Blog Posts
The Death of my Monte Carlo Tags: ,,
I started it up... vroooom vrooooom sounded sweet. I let it run for a while because it had been sitting... it likes to run. So I left it for a while. I went back out to see it and go for a spin. I grabbed the mail and got back into the car. It smelled a little gassy, but it always does so I didn't think too much about it. I shut it off and then started it back up... who knows why. I had one foot on the accelerator and one foot on the ground outside the car. When I started it back up I guess the starter sparked enough to catch the gas on the ground (that leaked from the old cracked gas lines) on fire. It went poof. My foot was engulfed in flame (I didn't get burnt tho).
I shut it off ran to the front door and threw the mail that was in my hand on the ground. Fumbled with my keys to unlock the front door and ran to the kitchen to get my little fire extinguisher. I sprayed the extinguisher under the car... it lasted about 10 seconds and then stopped.... no effect on the flames. I ran downstairs (really fast) to get my other fire extinguisher. Sprayed it... 20 seconds and it was spent... no effect on the flames. By now there are flames coming out of the wheel wells... thick black smoke everywhere. I ran into the car opened the door to pop the hood... I remembered to close my eyes in the thick smoke but of course I forgot to hold my breath. Chokechokechoke. I popped the hood and ran into the house to call the fire dept. I picked up the corded phone... then thought what the hell am I doing... I have one of those newfangled cell phones so I can fight fire while I call the dept.
I grabbed my garden hose and ran back to the car and started spraying everywhere I could see flames shooting out. Remember, the car is in my carport, 2 feet from my Cadillac on one side... 3 inches from my house in the back and 2 feet from my Audi on the front. I was positive the gas tank was going to explode and my whole house was going to burn everything I own down. I jumped in the audi and moved it out of the driveway so at least I could sleep in that while the house was burnt down. I grabbed my cell phone and, of course, couldn't figure out how to unlock it... I eventually got ahold of 911. All the while I am spraying the flames with my garden hose. At this point there are flames coming out of everywhere. I just keep spraying.
911: What can I help you with.
Me: Um... my car is burning... bad.
911: Is anyone hurt.
Me: Not yet.
911: Is it close to anything else.
Me: Yes, its 2 inches from my house and next to everything I own.
911: blabla
Me: blabla.
911: blabla
Me: blabla.
911: blabla
Me: blabla.
911: blabla
Me: blabla.
911: Okay, the fire dept is on its way. Please keep everyone and everything away from the car.
Me: No, I am gonna keep spraying it with my hose.
911: Okay, be carefull.
So I hang up the phone. I tried to open the hood so I could get a clear shot at the flames, but it was too smokey and too hot... remember... I am still choking on black plastic and tire rubber burnt smoke. So I can't get to the fire, but at least I can try to keep my house from burning down.... just if that darned (full to the brim) gas tank doesn't explode. Then BOOOM. Uh oh... gas tank. Big Explosion. My life flashed before my eyes. I shut my eyes and waited to feel the pain of being engulfed by flames. After a second I opened my eyes because I didn't feel burnt. Phew... it was just the tire exploding. I kept spraying everything I could. Fire still shooting out of everywhere. The inside of the car was raging with flames. In my panic, I though I could help it by spraying the windshield... which of course didn't help. Keep spraying flames justin.... So I sprayed under the car. I sprayed in both wheel wells above the blown out tires. I sprayed in the cracks of the hood (I popped it remember). I sprayed the cadillac. I sprayed the house. Just kept rotating around. I also was a little worried because my audi was blocking where the fire truck needed to be.... but oh well, I would just keep spraying. I suppose the wires all started melting at this point because lights kept coming on. The horn honked once in a while. Blinkers flashed. The engine even tried to start itself. Pretty funny really. I suppose that was its dying last gasp of air. It was trying to start itself so it could get the heck away from the fire. Poor poor monte should have been shown those stop drop and roll videos when it was younger.
Then Brian Lenihan showed up. He said he thought it looked like my house was on fire from afar. No shit sherlock. So I got him to move the audi. At the point the flames weren't as bad as before. Still had quite a bit of fire, but not leaping out. Pretty much contained to the tires and the interior of the car. Black and white smoke billowing everywhere. The fire department shows up. Woohooo. Big sigh of relief. At least at this point I had some professional help with gas masks.
They all came to inspect the damage, rolled out the hoses and fired up their pump. They first opened the car door and let 100 or so gallons flow into the interior of the car. Byebye swivel seats. They were pretty much ignoring me while I kept spraying under the car where there was quite a bit of flame still. The hood was shut completely again. The fire melted the springs so it latched back shut. The fire was still going pretty good under the car, but the fire dept couldn't really see it. They were feeling like they were done and I said... um, theres still some going under here. They sprang back into action. They got their crow bars and started bending the crap out of the hood and grill. Made me cringe, but I suppose it shouldn't have because the car was already a total loss. But still hurt. They finally got the hood opened and unleashed another 100 gallons on the engine compartment. I wish my hose was as big as theirs. I think I was a little envious of the size of their hose.
Whew... fire out. Just to be safe, they emptied the rest of their 500 gallon tank on the interior of the car and the engine compartment. Good thing I didn't get the interior redone. I would have been really pissed off. We decided it would be a good idea to move the car away from everything else... so we got Brians explorer to tow the car out of the carport and to the end of the driveway. It took awhile to get the melted tires to turn, but eventually got it. Of course the wheels were cocked just enough that the car started to veer off the drive way and towards the 3 foot drop into my rose bushes. STOP BRIAN. Stopped just in time. I opened the door to turn the wheels and of course immediately began choking on the smoke still inside. Somehow managed to use my super human strength to turn the wheels just enough to avoid the drop off and we pulled it out to the end of the driveway.
Whew.... all done. Now Brian and I get to have a few laughs with the firemen and women (mostly women actually). The fire men said that every fire truck in bellevue was on its way because the car was so close to the house and when they showed up they called the rest of them off. They said I did a fantastic job containing the fire and that I should go work with them. I was so thankful they came that I probably would've said sure if I wasn't still completely choking on nasty smoke. In fact, I still reak of melted plastic and I have taken 2 showers. The only casualties were Evil Bendy (a little rubber bendy doll which now can be called black melted bendy) and my daffodils (which I trampled) and of course the car itself.
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