Pass a car fire? I will probably make every 'professional firefighter' cringe when I say this ... but I have never PASSED a car fire.
I have, on a number of occasions, stopped to put one out. One was even the car I was driving.
There are three attitudes that I deplore. "It's insured" seems a handy excuse for failing to take the most basic actions to reduce your loss. "It's someone else's job" (like the fire brigade) is just lame - we are still responsible for ourselves and what's ours. Then there is that basic laziness that results in a lack of preparedness for the most minor problems.
A really decent, capable ABC extinguisher costs less than $20. Every big fire starts as a small one. It is inexcusable that a fire is allowed to 'stew and brew' for any length of time, to grow into a monster.
Unless, of course, it's your ambition to have the world enjoy your misfortune, courtesy of YouTube.
This makes me glad that our fire department SOP is that EVERY LANE OF TRAFFIC STOPS (irregardless of whether it is a divided highway or not) until the fire is completely out. NOBODY'S destination is important enough for us to allow that kind of chance to be taken.
Years ago, driving south out of Boston on the Southeast Expressway, I passed a car with it's hood up and engine on fire. The car had pulled off in one of the breakdown spaces provided, and I passed by about two lanes to the left. Traffic was fast-moving and heavy, and I was on top of the fire before I realized it existed. I was convinced that the explosion would blow the hood off, right at me. It never occurred to me that the flames could sweep out across three or four lanes! This is the sort of thing that I'd always check The Boston Globe for the next day, and never find anything written about it.
Last edited by Retired_Helper; 11/25/0709:23 PM. Reason: My usual second thoughts
Most city folk are blaze about metro area traffic accidents. It amazes me when I see two people who swapped a little paint standing around their cars waiting for the cops to arrive. In DC the rule is, if the cop gets out of his car, everyone is getting a ticket, even if you were just watching. They are not interested unless someone needs the "jaws of life" to get to the hospital. Otherwise, deal with it yourself. That is not an unreasonable take, now that everyone has a cell phone.
Have a slight prang here and the gendarmes are only too pleased to help, filling in the mandatory accident forms, giving you the name of their Uncle's garage etc.. That's probably because they have nothing to do all day! I expect that's true in any rural location except the UK, where the cops nick everyone so they can earn points! As to stopping to help, I'm no fire officer and tackling a gasoline fire with a $20 fire-extinguisher on a three-lane highway is not for me!
A mate once stopped to help a 'little old lady' who had fallen over at Milan airport. She took off like a bloody olympic sprinter after her accomplice stole his briefcase while he was distracted!
I remember going past a car on fire on the bus to school one morning, about 30 years ago (just outside Harpenden on the old A6, for Brit readers). The fire had taken hold pretty well, and the one thing which really sticks in my mind after all these years is the blast of heat I felt, even from the opposite side of the road and through the window of the bus.