She thought she had a hot car, but in fact, it was smoking. On Wednesday morning, Feb. 27, Chloe Barrera turned the ignition of her car, a ’97 Honda Accord. It caught on fire, cracking the windshield and damaging most of the front seat. Nobody was hurt.
Barrera saw smoke coming out of the radio and exited the car immediately. Carlos Murillo, a first year student, saw the flames and attempted to put out the fire with his backpack. When that didn’t work, Murillo ran to nearby classroom for a fire extinguisher.
Several passersby scrambled for containers of water, but were unsuccessful in putting out the fire. Finally, Murillo killed it with the fire extinguisher.
The Santa Clara Fire Department and the Foothill-De Anza Police arrived at the scene at about 10:30 a.m.
According to Captain Gil Smith of the Santa Clara Fire Department, the car fire was likely caused by an electrical problem. If unabated, the fire could have spread to other cars, were it not for the actions of Murillo, Smith said.
After firefighters inspected the vehicle, Barrera was able to safely retrieve her backpack and laptop from her car.
A student observer, Jessica Borja, offered to hold Barrera’s possessions in her own car and to give her a ride home.
Another offered Barrera his cell phone. Barrera called her mother, who arrived at the scene promptly.
As a precaution, the car had to be hosed down to ensure that the fire had been put out. The car was towed out of the De Anza parking lot at about 1:20 p.m.
Published for La Voz Weekly
Original Link: Car comes ablaze in De Anza Parking Lot