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Old 10-04-2007, 10:42 PM   #1
ADKnative
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A sad day for me..

Well, I decided to hike up Bald Mtn today via the trailhead on Route 9 between Etown and Route 73. I parked in the lot, grabbed my pack and headed into the woods. About 10 minutes later I realized I forgot to put my good boots on and was still wearing my sneakers, so I turned around to get my boots. When I got back to the lot I could smell something burning. I went to open my car door and noticed black smoke was pouring out of the vents above the radio. Within a matter of minutes the entire car was engulfed in flames. I ran out to the road to try to wave someone down since my phone was in the car, and only one person stopped, who didn't have a phone. I proceeded to run down the road to the first house and used their phone to call 911.

I was terrified that the fire was going to spread to the trees and start a forest fire or damage other peoples' cars in the lot. The fire department managed to put out the fire and a total disaster was averted, but I still feel awful about all the toxic smoke and chemicals that were released into the air. I never got to hike today, and my car is a total loss, but at least it happened while parked and I wasn't in it!

As far as why the car caught on fire in the first place, I have no idea. I am guessing it was electrical, but I may never know.





Oh, the white stuff on the ground is some kind of foam the fire department uses to put out fires, it's not snow.

Last edited by ADKnative; 10-04-2007 at 10:58 PM..
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Old 10-04-2007, 11:07 PM   #2
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WOW!!

That's a Bummer.

Hopefully you have insurance.

Sorry.

hawk
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Old 10-04-2007, 11:07 PM   #3
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Much better to find out when you did, rather than in the evening after a long day in the trail, or someplace much more remote than New Russia. I hope your insurance company doesn't give you too much of a hassle.
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Old 10-04-2007, 11:34 PM   #4
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I have been thinking about that a lot. What if I hadn't gone back to the car to get my boots? It would have just burned and burned and who knows if anyone would have seen it in time before it spread into the forest. It has been so dry this summer.. I was scared about that more than anything. A car is just material, but the forest is something else entirely.

Yeah, I have insurance, and they didn't seem to think it would be any problem. I did love that car though.. oh well.
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Old 10-05-2007, 12:48 AM   #5
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Wow...

That's probably one of the last things you expect to happen while out hiking.

I'm sorry about your car but glad that you were not injured...
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Old 10-05-2007, 12:53 AM   #6
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WOW...

Well...thankfully you're OK.

Too bad about the boots.

I hope everything turns out OK for you.
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Old 10-05-2007, 01:23 AM   #7
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You weren't hurt and that's the most important thing!
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Old 10-05-2007, 08:37 AM   #8
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Nobody burt

The most important thing, no one was hurt, Thank God. Sorry about your auto. Don't feel guilty about the potential toxins - these things happen, yours was accidental. not like you set about to pollute.

Hard to lose a beloved car (I know, they can become like pets); losing a life is unthinkable. I'm glad you weren't in the thing when the fire started.

All will be well.

D




Quote:
Originally Posted by ADKnative View Post
Well, I decided to hike up Bald Mtn today via the trailhead on Route 9 between Etown and Route 73. I parked in the lot, grabbed my pack and headed into the woods. About 10 minutes later I realized I forgot to put my good boots on and was still wearing my sneakers, so I turned around to get my boots. When I got back to the lot I could smell something burning. I went to open my car door and noticed black smoke was pouring out of the vents above the radio. Within a matter of minutes the entire car was engulfed in flames. I ran out to the road to try to wave someone down since my phone was in the car, and only one person stopped, who didn't have a phone. I proceeded to run down the road to the first house and used their phone to call 911.

I was terrified that the fire was going to spread to the trees and start a forest fire or damage other peoples' cars in the lot. The fire department managed to put out the fire and a total disaster was averted, but I still feel awful about all the toxic smoke and chemicals that were released into the air. I never got to hike today, and my car is a total loss, but at least it happened while parked and I wasn't in it!

As far as why the car caught on fire in the first place, I have no idea. I am guessing it was electrical, but I may never know.





Oh, the white stuff on the ground is some kind of foam the fire department uses to put out fires, it's not snow.
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Old 10-05-2007, 08:46 AM   #9
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Sorry to hear about your mishap and glad to hear your safe.
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Old 10-05-2007, 09:41 AM   #10
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Man what a shock to come back to your car like that! I for one - being the owner of the truck parked beside you in the picture - am extremely grateful you came back and that the fire department managed to put it out. Many thanks. When we exited the woods we saw a lot of water on the ground and were really curious as to what had gone on during the day. We did in fact smell a little bit of smoke but couldn't place where it was coming from. Sorry for the stress this incident caused you. Hopefully everything will work out in the end but clearly not the relaxing day you had envisioned when you went to the woods in the morning.
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Old 10-05-2007, 02:51 PM   #11
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is that a VW Jetta? just curious ... one of the Directors at my agency had one burst into flame a couple years ago in the parking lot ... pretty amazing sight!

Glad you're okay.
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Old 10-05-2007, 04:10 PM   #12
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Talk about "By the Fireside."

Sorry about your car, and glad you're OK. Maybe someone upstairs made you forget your boots so you'd return to save the mountains, and from blowing up Kenmore's ride
I hope everything works out again for ya.

Last edited by Justin; 10-05-2007 at 04:23 PM..
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Old 10-05-2007, 06:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I for one - being the owner of the truck parked beside you in the picture - am extremely grateful you came back and that the fire department managed to put it out.
I was wondering if you might be on these forums. Yeah, I was concerned about your vehicle for sure! The police officer on the scene and I took a good look at it to make sure it wasn't damaged, and it didn't appear to be. It got a little dirty though, so I apologize for that. The officer placed his hand on your car and it was a bit warm, but not hot enough to cause any damage. Actually most of the fire which caught the needles on the ground was on the other side facing away from your car, although I was keeping a close eye on it nonetheless.

Thanks are definately in order to the Elizabethtown Fire Department who did a top notch job containing and extinguishing the fire!
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Old 10-05-2007, 06:44 PM   #14
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is that a VW Jetta? just curious ... one of the Directors at my agency had one burst into flame a couple years ago in the parking lot ... pretty amazing sight!
Yeah it was a Jetta, Wolfsburg Edition, 1.8 turbo, a really great car. However I have been doing some research and it turns out mine isn't a completely isolated incident. There have been several reports of this happening in the 99-05 model year VWs.

I think it's safe to say I will steer clear of VW from now on.
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Old 10-05-2007, 09:43 PM   #15
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Indeed, I went out and had a look at my car after I saw your picture... no damage that I can see (unless I can claim some of the rust spots as incidental damage... probably not ).

Quote:
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It got a little dirty though, so I apologize for that. The officer placed his hand on your car and it was a bit warm, but not hot enough to cause any damage. Actually most of the fire which caught the needles on the ground was on the other side facing away from your car, although I was keeping a close eye on it nonetheless.
Man I'll take "a little dirty" any day considering the options... Thanks.

My friends and I did the traverse of Giant and Rocky Peak Ridge. While we were having lunch on the summit of Giant I heard the volunteer fire department siren wailing through the valley... now I know where they were headed. I'm still wondering if "my car" or I had the more exciting day?
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Old 10-15-2007, 12:58 AM   #16
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You certainly were VERY LUCKY......A car is replaceable....a Human Life isn't....It had to be, meant to be, that you forgot your boots in the car....This is truly an amazing story all the way around.......

I can not believe the car you flagged down, didn't drive you to the nearest phone and you had to run to the nearest house!!

How did you manage to get home that day? Hope the Insurance Money comes in soon, so you can replace your vehicle.......
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Old 10-17-2007, 09:19 PM   #17
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I ended up calling someone to come pick me up in Keene and a Press Republican reporter gave me a ride there from etown. The insurance money is coming soon, but I am not getting a new car until next year. My mom is giving me her 2002 Isuzu Rodeo for the winter. Can't complain about 4x4.
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Old 10-17-2007, 09:31 PM   #18
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That's pretty scary...Guess it could happen to any of us at any time...Thanks for sharing your report...Glad you are ok...Hope things turn out ok for you....
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