Burning Beetle

A pungent smell invades the nostrils of Abby Fickle as she frantically grabs the keepsakes from her car. A sense of urgency seems to drown out the chaos, she grabs the last of her things that she can get at this moment and takes off. Away from her precious car as it is engulfed in flames. 

Abby Fickle, a junior at Northwest who loved her car, a Volkswagen Beetle nicknamed Spike, an astronomical amount. For Abby and her friend Tianna Piña it was a fairly normal lunch at the start of a new year. They had just gotten into Abby’s car and had attempted to turn on the air conditioning. It turned on but both of them noticed a sliver of smoke emerging from the controls. At this point in time they still drove it around this is where the first signs of trouble started appearing.

“The smell started becoming something very very strong to the point where you could feel it inside your stomach and made you grossed out,” Tianna Piña, (11), said.

After a while things started picking up, according to Tianna and Abby. The smoke grew darker black and increased in quantity. The stench carried by it became even more gut-wrenching at this point in time. 

“The black smoke kind of reminded me of a house fire, but luckily we were just in a car, so we could get out safely,” Piña said.

As the black smoke started sweeping through her car, Fickle drove back to school grounds. Thinking quickly, Fickle drove her car into the parking lot away from other vehicles, calling her dad for advice and help. They opened up the hood and in the process discovered the fire on the side of her car.

“He told us to disconnect the cable from the battery just in case that would help, and as I rounded the corner of the car we saw the fire fuming,” Fickle said.

As the fire raged on, the windows were the first to break due to the intense heat. After that,  Fickle and Piña were escorted away from the vehicle and into the nurse’s office. There the realization of what had truly happened hit.

“What was going through my mind was  something that was new to me, and I don’t know why I reacted this way, but I started laughing,” Piña said.

While Piña felt hysteria, Fickle understandably felt pure sadness not only that, but also she had endured a borderline traumatic experience. At the nurse’s office both were found to be healthy, despite all circumstances. 

“I kept getting reminded by dad whenever I was sad about it, that if I had done anything different we both could have died, or something worse could have happened” Fickle said.

The car itself was totaled, a large portion of it completely destroyed by flames. Fickle only had liability insurance though, leaving her without a vehicle at this moment, but Fickle does have plans to bring back some life back into an old mustang her sister owned. 

“It’s weird, a change, but we worked on it all day and now I drive that,” Fickle said.