On a Tuesday afternoon, I was making my way from one meeting to the next. The San Antonio weather was nice on this particular day, and the warm sunshine made it even better. The quickest way for my 2 p.m. meeting was taking Interstate-35, which runs North-and-South through the Alamo City.
A few miles from my destination, and trekking at about 65 mph, I noticed something unusual in the right lane of the freeway. A white SUV slowed down suddenly. In fact, it appeared the vehicle stalled. I took a close look and observed that fire was coming from under the car.
I decided to do what any other concerned citizen might do in similar circumstances. That is, offer my assistance. Of course, I have next to nil experience as an EMT, and I don’t carry a fire extinguisher in my vehicle. The least I could do was make sure that anyone in the vehicle was evacuated safely.
I parked my car about 40 feet in front of the burning vehicle and rushed to see how I could help. To my surprise, a young lady was still sitting in the driver’s side, and she didn’t seem too nervous about the situation. I informed her that flames were coming from under her SUV, and she quickly unbuckled her seatbelt and ran from the car.
Immediately after my arrival, another gentleman stopped to render aid. He carried a fire extinguisher, and attempted to put out the fire. However, the intensity was too much, and his efforts were to no avail.
By the time I called 911, several other folks had done the same. The San Antonio Fire Department (SAFD) was there within minutes, and they quickly extinguished the flames. However, the SUV appeared to be a total loss. At one time, it was completely engulfed in flames. I was startled when loud pop noises pierced through the air after the tires exploded.
With my iPhone in hand, I decided to take a few pictures, and even record a video of the situation. I informed the terrified woman that I could provide this information in case her insurance company asked for it. I also provided my business card so that she could reach me. The fire diffused, and the situation under the control of the SAFD, I decided to make my way to the meeting.
Rebecca Contacted Me
About a week later, Rebecca, the woman whose car caught fire, sent an email thanking me for helping her … see below …
My name is Rebecca. I’m not sure if I even introduced myself to you. I was the lady you helped last week when my truck caught on fire.
I can’t thank you enough! You saved my life because I didn’t even know it was on fire. I thought it was just over heating so thank you again. You are an angel sent from above because you actually stopped to help out. Again, I appreciate everything you did to help me on that day.
I’m writing about this situation not to pat myself on the back. As I noted earlier, I did what most any of us would do when faced with this scenario. I know that I will be in a similar situation sometime in the future, and I hope someone takes the time to make sure I am fine.