By Phil Hennin/Submitted
Today, four of Dodge’s Chicken Store employees responded to a fire they saw start in a car parked in front of the store in Tupelo. Without a thought for their personal safety, as flames poured from the front engine compartment of a 1984 Cadillac, these employees grabbed fire extinquishers and ran to put out the flames.
“I knew it wasn’t an oil fire. Black smoke is oil. This was white smoke,” said one employee who declined to be identified. “It took about two minutes for the fire department to arrive,” he said. But the fire appeared to be out when firefighters arrived. White smoke changed to brown, billowing from the smoldering engine.
Once on the scene firefighters quickly doused the hot engine to ensure that the fire was dead.
Paramedics arrived and checked on the driver and passenger for injuries. The driver, Jeffrey, said his wife were checked by paramedics and checked out okay after a brief rest. Both declined a trip to the ER.
“We were concerned about the structure,” said Captain Montgommery of Fire Station One in downtown Tupelo. When asked about the potential additional hazards of car fires at gas stations he said,“All fires are dangerous. No danger to the fuel pumps unless the car is closer. We were mainly worried about the structure catching fire. We respond to car fires occasionally.” The car caught fire about 40 feet from the pumps.
The owner of the 1984 Cadillac said he had just had work done on the car, replacing hoses and wiring and some parts, including a fuel pump. He didn’t know if the fire was related to recent work he had done. He has owned the vehicle for about a year.
Dodges was back in business a short while after the incident, due to quick responses from Dodge’s employees and the Tupelo fire department.