A Killeen man lost his vehicle after it caught fire Friday at the intersection of Jasper and Florence Road.
“I just saw (flames) starting to come from underneath the hood,” said Edward Smith, 27, owner of the 1996 Cadillac. “I started seeing the hood melt away, so I hopped out.”
Smith, who drives trucks for a living, said he was on his way to O’Reilly Auto Parts when the car died at the intersection.
“I had to get a water pump and stuff for it. I have no clue,” Smith said as firefighters worked to put out his flaming car. “It just caught fire right here. It cut off on me and I tried to crank it up and it just caught fire.”
Having bought the car from a friend for $1,500, Smith said he knew it needed work, but wasn’t expecting a fiery end to his gold sedan on Friday.
“I bought it from a friend of mine, actually. I would hope a friend wouldn’t do that to me, but I mean, I know it had some problems with it,” Smith said. “I was working slowly to get them fixed. I just replaced the timing belt, just little things. It had been sitting since 2011. Nobody had driven it, so once I got it, I had been doing minor things to it to keep it going.”
As firefighters extinguished the fire, leaving a charred, smoking sedan in the intersection across from Bellaire Elementary School, Smith said he’ll have to work to buy another car as he only had liability car insurance.
“I’m glad to be OK. I’m glad nobody else got hurt because I see we’re right next to a school,” Smith said. “That was my main thing. I didn’t want it to blow up right in front of a school.”
Alive and unharmed, Smith said he’s “blessed” to be alive.
“It’s just a loss. But I made it out,” he said. “That’s the only thing that matters.”