Ron Trider’s van became the talk of the town in Windsor shortly before noon Tuesday.
Trider, a Windsor resident, was driving along Gerrish Street, near the intersection for Water Street, when flames shot out from underneath the hood of his van.
“I heard a little bang and smoke started rolling from underneath the hood,” said Trider, who was in the van with his granddaughter and dog.
Trider started removing his belongings from the van, but was quickly ushered away by onlookers concerned that the fire would trigger an explosion.
“Everybody said, ‘Get away from it, get away from it,’” recalled Trider.
Constables Andrew Turpin and Danny O’Blenis, of the Windsor District RCMP, hit the flames with fire extinguishers before the Windsor Fire Department arrived on scene.
There was a prior attempt to extinguish the flames, but the hood of the vehicle would not open. The RCMP officers were able to access the fire using a hole the flames burned through the hood.
“We slowed it down but then Windsor Fire showed up and that was it,” said Turpin, who noted that the cause of the fire is unknown.
Spectators gathered on nearby sidewalks upon spotting the smoke rolling out from underneath the hood.
It is important for people to understand that a car fire can lead to sudden explosions that can launch projectiles long distances, Turpin said.
“The fire department tells me that when the tires blow, the drive shaft blows,” he said.
“It’s pretty dangerous even back to 100 metres.”