B32276 / Fri, 19 Jun 2009 10:53:11 / Miscellaneous
As you may have read in the May 27th issue of the Munising News, I had a vehicle fire on May 20th while driving eastbound into Munising from Christmas.
I’ve many to thank, and would like to thank first, Charlie Deaver, who was following my van on his motorcycle. He was signaling trouble, pulled over with me, immediately dialed 911 to report the fire and then insured that everyone was safely out of the vehicle and unharmed.
Many thanks to the members of the Munising Fire Department with much appreciation for their prompt response that prevented the vehicle from burning totally out of control. Thanks as well to the Munising City Police Dept. for their part in diverting traffic around the scene and to Michigan State Trooper Ealy for his assistance on scene.
I’d like to thank as well the good folks at Kolbus Motors, for getting there in minutes to safely remove the van from the roadside and delivering it to Ron’s Auto Body for later inspection.
With absolute confidence in the help of our good neighbors, Brenda Webber, agent Al Weymouth, estimator Rick Williams and an amiable claims agent at State Farm known to me as Martha, I was able to replace the totaled 1995 Ford E-150 with a 1996 Ford E-150 within a few business days.
I’d never experienced an electrical fire in a vehicle prior to this one and it was amazing how fast the situation went from just a smell of smoke to actual flames behind the rear fuse panel. With time to do little besides evacuate our belongings and close up the van from the wind, the want of a fire extinguisher was the primary emotion helplessly watching as the fire spread through the van.
Had the van been equipped with a fire extinguisher it is likely the fire could have been limited to the electrical harness, the rear fuse panel and the boxed in section where it was mounted. After leaving the dealership with the replacement van, the first stop was Lowe’s for an extinguisher.
I’d urge anyone driving an older vehicle, especially those driving conversion vans, recreational vehicles or truck campers equipped with auxiliary electrical systems to carry an extinguisher on board as well.
Thanks again to all who helped directly or expressed concern thereafter.