NORTH FORK — Firefighters had no sooner finished their job dealing with a car fire on Deadwood and returned to quarters, when they were called out to another car fire, this one in Teaford Meadow Lakes .
At about 3:20 p.m., George Hathaway, 87, long time resident on the cul-du-sac known as Chipo Poyah, had gone out to the carport to start his 1990 12-cylinder Jaguar XJS. He hadn’t started it in several months, and once it fired up, it started running really rough, so he began feathering the gas pedal to try and keep it going.
That’s when neighbors hear a loud boom. Something exploded under the hood, and George found himself in the driver’s seat with flames bursting out in front of him.
He was able to get out of the car, and began yelling “Fire!” Neighbors came out of their homes after the sound of the explosion, one trying to round up hoses from her home next door while she dialed 911. A couple who live a block or so away on Teaford Poyah came over on their little motor bike with a fire extinguisher.
Cal Fire Engine 4254 was at scene within minutes from the Bass Lake Station about 2 miles away, and had the fire out in very short order, keeping it from spreading to the structure. It did scorch the outside plywood wall of the carport. Engine 4255 also responded out of the Rancheria Station on Road 200.
George says he’s not sure if the Jaguar is insured to where it can be repaired, and he likely only has liability on it, but says he has a couple other vehicles he can use in the meantime.
George told firefighters he wasn’t injured, and was extremely grateful for their quick response.