We had a bit of Friday night excitement. Our new neighbours from the UK decided that they needed a second vehicle. A fellow drove up in a Land Rover Explorer, and the UK couple took it for a test drive. They went around the block and stopped. All of a sudden, the Land Rover burst into flames.
Ironically enough, I myself was starting the barbeque. The woman comes rushing into our patio with a wildeye look asking if we had a hose, because there was a car on fire. I wasn't too keen on putting out a fire with our water, because water is darn expensive. It is all made by reverse osmosis. Our water bill declined dramatically when the Haitian gardener was fired. We found out that he was watering everyone's flowers with our hose.
Anyway, I went out to have a peek at the car on fire. It was the Land Rover SUV. And it was parked next to the Lovely One's BMW. I rushed back into the house, and got the Beamer keys. When I went back out, flames were already coming out from under the hood and there was a thick black acrid cloud of smoke. I got a lungful, and it was horrid stuff.
I jumped into the Beamer, eyes watching and chest burning. Holding my breath I started the car, and zipped away up the street, putting our car out of harm's way. In the meantime, our new neighbour who had taken the Explorer for a test drive, tried calling 911. He wasn't having much luck, because on this island, the emergency number is 919. I shouted this info out to him, and he dialled the number. The fire brigade and firehouse is just mere blocks away.
Another neighbour connected a couple of hoses, and dashed into the black clouds of smoke and burning Land Rover with the garden hose spewing water. The crowd urged him to get out of there because the gas tank might go up. The tires were already on fire, the interior was full of smoke, flames were coming out all over, and melted plastic and burning fluids were lighting the asphalt on fire under the SUV.
However, the piddly little garden hose was winning the day. The water put out the burning plastic and the black smoke was turning to white smoke which was not the toxic crap spewing out from the burning engine. This all took about ten minutes, and from the few blocks away, we could here the sirens of the fire truck. The firemen would have arrived faster if they had walked.
The pumper came, and one blast of the the four inch hose finished the fire for good. They opened the interior of the Land Rover, and gave a blast for good measure. The driver's seat was melted. The tops of the front tires were burnt off as well.
There were the requisite jokes that the Land Rover's price had dropped dramatically, and we were idly wondering if there would be a fire sale. However, the joke was on me, because I had discovered that in fact, it was my water that put the fire out. My water bill next month should be as catastrophic as the fire was to the Land Rover.