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Three score and ten or more

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Who Needs Excitement?

I was just about to close up my computer for the night when my oldest son, who has been living with us most of the year because he is too ill to really stay in his trailer, came to the office door with the exclamation "My car is on fire".  He was sitting on the couch watching one of the last football games of the day when he heard a "whoosh" and went to the door too see what was the matter,  His car was completely enveloped in flame.  There were a number of explosions just as I came to the door (not the gas tank, thank goodness) and I ran to get the fire extinguisher as he called 911. 

Of course I had put the extinguisher where I would be sure to find it, and I couldn't find it anywhere.  The fire department came almost immediately and began to work on the fire.  There were two or three other explosions, one of which shot silver sparks out the side of the car.  ( reminded me of a mercury fire).  He had a 100 foot extension cord, a chain saw, a saws-all, and a couple of gallons of paint (surrounded by about a hundred paper back books.) in the back of the car.  The firemen said that the silver sparks that shot out the window were probably from aerosol cans of paint, but they didn't have enough scraps to identify.  The car was a twenty some year old Toyota with 235000 miles on the odometer, so, except for the replacement cost there wasn't much financial loss. but the tools will never be the same.  

What had worried me most was the the front of the car was only about ten feet from the wall of our house, and it was parked next to an enormous crepe myrtle and I was worried about fire damage to the house or the bush.  There was none, thank heaven, though I am going to have to do some judicious trimming on the crepe myrtle to make it look right.

Right now I am still shaking, but it is all over except for calling a wrecker to dispose of the carcass in the morning.   I am so grateful that it didn't damage the house, or even the hedge in front of the house (holly, mostly)/   I'll try to take some pictures of the old bus before they take it away.   No one from the fire department could come up with a reason for the fire, though they guessed that it was probably an electrical short.

It is now midnight, and I am going to give a major thank you prayer and go to bed and try to sleep.


At 9:05 AM, Blogger Ed said...

For a lot of metal and glass, cars burn very well. I saved a car burning on the highway once with a big jug of lemonade meant for a picnic I was heading too. We went thirsty at the picnic but a car was saved so it was worth it. Good to hear that your house is intact. Up here in garage land where everyone has them, a car fire also usually means a house fire by default.

At 5:11 PM, Blogger Three Score and Ten or more said...

Interesting point was that he paid less than a thousand dollars for the car about three years ago, and when he junked the carcass this morning they paid him three hundred forty dollars and change. That is pretty cheap transportation. (It burned a little oil, but got almost thirty miles per gallon)

At 9:26 PM, Blogger Joubert said...

There seems to be never a dull moment in the Johnson household what with this, neuropathy, tripping over an extension cord and Alzheimers.

BTW it is not Alzheimers. It's called senile cognitive impairment (SCI.) I just read an article about it a few days ago (I didn't bookmark it.) The majority of Alzheimers sufferers are women and the majority of SCI sufferers are men.

And yes strokes can cause neuropathy and it can take many different forms: numbness, dull pains or sharp shooting pains that feel almost electrical - that's the version that I have. Its the nerves going haywire just as our brain cells are in SCI.

I've given up on projects that are not absolutely essential to survival. Old age is the time to relax and enjoy the simple things in life like breathing.

At 7:47 AM, Blogger Ed said...

I've always felt that if you had the time to work on your car, driving old used cars are the cheapest form of transportation. The last used one that I sold, I bought for $3k and sold for $1k and got six years of driving out of it and could have gotten a lot more had it all wheel drive which is what I was after for my wife.

At 7:48 AM, Blogger Ed said...

By the way, I had to snicker at the comment you made that it only burnt a little oil. It burnt four quarts or more in less than an hour! :)

At 9:51 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

Wow! You guys were really lucky that it didn't do any damage to your home, being that it was parked so close to the house. I hope you have found a replacement by now and that all is well.


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