Driving home from work today my Subaru Forester caught fire. As I was heading north on 146 I heard a bang and black smoke came out the back of my Forester. That’s about when I realized my engine had died and I’d lost power steering. I coasted over to the side of the road and came to a stop. That’s when I smelled burning plastic and saw all the smoke coming out from under my hood. Things didn’t get any better when I opened the hood. The engine was on fire!
I quickly pulled all my stuff out of the car and then dialed 911. I was in such a panic I dropped the phone twice before I was able to use the phone. The operator connected me to the North Smithfield Rhode Island police department. They said that the fire department was on their way to put out the fire.
I stood on the embankment a safe distance from the car as the fire grew bigger. Bits of molten flaming plastic were dripping on to the ground below my car. The car had almost 200 thousand miles on it. I had already put a down payment on a new car and was going to trade the Forester in on Saturday. Not any more.
The flames grew higher. Probably five minutes had passed since I called 911, but it felt like forever. Was my car going to turn into a giant fireball? That sounded dangerous. I decided to start throwing handfuls of snow onto the fire to keep it contained. Eventually I was scooping up giant armfuls of snow and dumping it into the engine compartment. I put out the fire.
A police officer showed up. Then three police officers. Then the fire department. Everyone peered into the engine compartment. The fire department confirmed that the fire was indeed out. I got a tow to the nearest garage. Everyone was very nice.
Now I really need to buy that new car.
Update: New (to me) car!