Fire damages car, but home is saved

A Woodfords man got a scare Wednesday afternoon when he turned the ignition to his classic car and it went up in flames.

The car was in a barn-turned-garage at Bob Piper's home on Carson River Road near the intersection of Highway 88 and Diamond Valley Road.

He said he quickly grabbed two fire extinguishers, but they were not enough to douse the flame, which appeared to severely damage the front end and engine of his 1966 Pontiac Lemans.

"I saw the flames, ran and got the fire extinguishers and then I called the fire department," he said. "It's a hard thing to see. This is a rare car."

Firefighters from the East Fork, Alpine County and Woodfords fire departments arrived in force shortly after the 2:45 p.m. call was received. They were able to douse the remaining flames before the fire caused serious structural damage to the barn. A small portion of one wall was damaged.

While waiting for help, Piper was able to back his 1966 Ford Mustang, of which he is the original owner, out and away from danger.

Piper said he was happy with the performance of the fire crews and their quick responses.

"It was excellent," he said. "I called and told them that if those flames got through the roof, they could spread to the house and into the trees."

The fire response included three engines, three water tenders (because there was no hydrant system) and 20 personnel.

Fire fighters and Piper think the fire may have been caused by wiring damaged by rats. Piper said he has had a recent problem with rats in the barn.


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