October 31, 2015. We walked away unscathed from a car fire. I believe it is due to God’s grace and prayer. The moment the truck began acting up I began praying. My daughter and I could not figure out if it was the transmission or a fuel issue but we knew something was wrong. The truck was horribly lagging trying to go over a hill. I quietly prayed for everyone’s safety, thinking the worse that could happen was a faster car would come up behind us in a curve. Bre looked for a safe place to pull over.
Bre pulled over at the first available spot. We immediately knew we were in trouble. Smoke was coming from the hood. I jumped out, looked underneath and saw we were sitting on top of flames. Flames flickered from the engine and trailed underneath us to the back of the truck. Fire shaped like water droplets was dripping onto the ground. Panicked, I screamed, “get the kids out!”
I grabbed little M from her car seat. Grace jumped out and Bre was trying to get Katie from her car seat. I ran back to grab my purse and saw the flames were now going up the passenger side of the truck. Bre was still trying to get Katie out and little M was toddling back towards the road.
I grabbed little M and began pushing Grace up the grassy hill. I looked back and saw Bre pulling Katie out. (I learned later she had to cut Katie out of her car seat belt.) Clinging to Katie, Bre started towards the hill as flames shot up into the air. The truck was engulfed.
We kept the kids moving away from the scene. The truck began popping with explosive sounds and a horrid jet engine kind of sound. I wouldn’t let the kids look back and neither did I. Officers later joked had I gone any further we would have been in West Virginia.
It’s hard to believe this entire experience happened within 2 hours. From the moment we realized the danger to first responders giving us a ride to Bre’s … all in 2 hours.
We still went trick or treating for the kids sake. I am so glad we did. Bre went with a friend and the girls. While Grace , Patrick and I went on our own. We hadn’t even gone a block when we ran into Grace’s “boyfriend” from school. His mom let him walk with us to hang out at the church. Sadly, I did not get any pix of the cuteness. It was a sweet way to close out the crazy day.
It is sad that it took a horrible event for me to realize what a blessing it is to just hang out, tricking or treating, with my autistic teenaged kids on Halloween. Hours earlier it had all felt like an inconvenience. I had no desire to go. The dangerous car fire turned into a breakthrough moment, a reminder, to never take the little things for granted. I realized how fast life could have changed for us and how blessed we really were. We were alive and unhurt. I had another chance to live an extraordinary life with the ones I loved and that was more than enough. We were blessed.