Not many people would try to drive a burning car filled with smoke, but that's exactly what Rodney Stanley did when his wife's car burst into flames. The couple had smelled smoke on their way to an IGA grocery store in Loris, S.C., but couldn't find the source of the smell under the hood. When they came back out to the parking lot fifteen minutes later Stanley's wife's 2008 Pontiac Solstice was full of smoke.
Stanley immediately jumped in to move the car away from other vehicles. At this point the car was belching so much smoke that he was driving blind and his wife had to shout directions to him.
Stanley told WMBF News he wanted to get the blazing car away from other people and vehicles, but getting back into a burning car is extremely dangerous. The National Fire Protection Association urges drivers to pull off of the road and turn off the engine to starve fires of fuel. Once the engine is off driver and passengers should get at least 100 feet away from the burning car and not go back into the car under any circumstance.
You shouldn't try to extinguish a large car fire yourself, but there are circumstances when you can try if you have a fire extinguisher. If there is smoke coming from under your hood but no flames, you can crack the hood slightly and spray at the gap from a few feet away. Do not open the hood all the way as the increased oxygen could quickly turn a tiny fire into a big blaze. However, if the fire is in the rear of the vehicle near the gas tank, you should get away quickly. Only a professional should attempt to douse fires of this sort.
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