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Family content to cut losses after close call

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By Brandon Mattingly

One Washington County family had a close call on Friday afternoon, when a car fire blazed out of control and nearly became something more serious.

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The fire started at Aline Chesser’s residence on Goatley Lane near Lincoln Homestead State Park and burned for several minutes until the Washington County  Fire Protection Association firefighters arrived on the scene.

The Chevrolet Blazer that ignited belonged to Vickie Smith, Chesser’s granddaughter.

“Vickie looked out the window and said, ‘Where’s that smoke coming from?’ and I looked out and smoke was coming out from both sides of the hood,” Chesser said. “She had just pulled up.”

The family quickly made a call to the fire department, but they were helpless — yet hopeful the fire wouldn’t expand until help arrived.

“(Smith) went and got the water hose and started spraying it, and the fire department said not to do that,” Chesser added. “We just really didn’t want it to start burning the house.”

Chesser was quick to point out that the situation could have been drastically worse, given the proximity of the flaming car to her home.

“If the wind would have been blowing the other way, it would have caught the house on fire,” she said. “It probably scorched it, but that’s not going to hurt anything. We just got the heck out of there. We’re lucky no one got hurt. If she would have been on the road when that car caught on fire, who’s to know what would have happened?”

The close call was one that Chesser doesn’t want her family to ever have to face again, and she said they’ll be more cautious than ever.

“It taught me a lesson, though. From now on, there will not be a car pulled up next to the house,” she said. “The driveway wasn’t always that close, but when my husband built on the porch that made it closer and we never thought anything about it.”

The cause of the fire was not immediately known.