In an incident straight out of some suburban-fanfic version of The Fast and the Furious, two muscle cars exploded in a fiery blaze this past Saturday, resulting in a two-alarm fire that required 35 firefighters to extinguish. A Novato garage and both cars were consumed in the subsequent inferno.
According to a statement issued by the Novato Fire District, it all began when a man working on a 1972 Chevy Nova in his detached garage smelled a chemical odor. After turning off the car, he then attempted to restart the engine.
"When he started it again, the engine compartment exploded and caught fire," reads the statement in part. "He was able to escape out of the vehicle and run down the long steep driveway while directing concerned neighbors to call 911."
Fortunately for the vehicle owner, the concerned neighbor in question was off-duty Novato firefighter Tommy Gaulke.
The blast was apparently quite substantial, as Gaulke reportedly "felt his house shake" before running outside to help expedite the response by providing dispatchers with detailed information about the incident.
This was definitely a close call for both the homeowner and the surrounding community, but the fire crews were able to control the spreading blaze in just 25 minutes after it had burned only half of an acre of the surrounding hillside. Fortunately, no one was injured in the fire and no other homes were damaged.
The two cars, a 1972 Chevy Nova and a 1966 Nova Station Wagon, were apparently valued at a combined $60,000.