By Mary O’KEEFE
A car fire snarled traffic early this evening at Foothill Boulevard and New York Avenue
“The call came into the [Glendale Fire Department] at about 6:35 p.m.,” said Brandy Villanueva, spokeswoman for GFD.
The driver, a 26-year-old man from Pasadena, was traveling westbound on Foothill Boulevard in his 2008 Dodge Adventure. He was planning on turning south on New York Avenue and into the 76 gas station on the corner.
“I don’t know what happened,” he told CVW. “I couldn’t turn my [steering] wheel.”
He noticed some smoke coming from the front of the vehicle.
“Then this [man] who was driving by told me to hop out of the car. He said, ‘Your car is going to blow up’,” he added.
The driver left the vehicle and within seconds the front engine was in flames.
The man who had warned the driver pulled over to make certain the driver was ok.
“An officer rolled up on the car as it stopped and a minute later it was engulfed,” said GPD Officer Webber. “The [fire] seemed to be restricted to the hood.
As the driver watched Glendale Firefighters extinguished the fire. The front end of his car was burnt and twisted metal, the interior of the car damaged by water used to control the fire.
He had never had any problem with it before and said he maintained the engine on a regular basis.
There were a series of lucky events leading up to the fire however.
The driver was planning on turning into the gas station, but had trouble turning the wheel. Had he been able to enter the station, and the car caught fire it may have had a tragic end. And then there was the Good Samaritan with knowledge of vehicles that realized immediate danger and yelled at him to leave his car just before it was engulfed.
He was safe however it was still difficult looking at his burned out vehicle parked in the middle of the road.
“I just had this car for three years,” he said. “And had no more payments.”