A vehicle in the FAMU garage burst into flames Tuesday afternoon severely damaging another.
Jonathan Davis, a 22-year-old senior jazz studies student, parked his friend’s 1987 Honda Accord on the top floor of the garage and proceeded to his class at 12.30 p.m. When he returned to the garage on his bike, he discovered his friend’s car had caught on fire.
The interior of the car was burnt beyond recognition, leaving behind charred remains of plastic. A white Chevy Tahoe to the right of the Honda Accord also sustained burns on its passenger side. According to a member of the FAMU Police Department, the Chevy was registered to a Melanie Johnson. It was unknown whether the owner was the current driver. The driver of the Chevy was not available for comments.
No witnesses observed the car catching fire, but a maintenance worker noticed the flames later.
“One of the maintenance men saw the car on fire and flagged down the officers,” Sgt. Derrick Folson of the FAMU PD said.
Sgt. Folson said when he arrived on the scene the Honda’s engine was engulfed in flames, but the fire spread to the rest of the car. The fire department later arrived to put out the flames, but by that time, most of the car had been destroyed.
Sgt. Folson said the driver of the Honda claimed he was gone for no more than an hour.
Lt. Barrington of the fire department said about 50 percent of the Honda Accord was engulfed in flames, when he arrived on the scene. He said he believed the fire was most likely caused by a mechanical malfunction.
“Most of it confined to the engine area,” Lt. Barrington explained.
Davis said he was aware there was a blown head gasket but could not afford to replace it.
“I knew it was on its way down, but I didn’t know it would catch on fire,” he said.
Davis said he is thankful that he was not in the car, but is still concerned about the owner of the other vehicle.
“I just want to make sure their truck gets taken care of,” Davis said, as he waited at the scene of the incident.
In an interview on the phone, Mike, the owner of the car said he allowed Davis to use the car for about three months and was not aware the car had problems.
Davis said he was thankful he changed his routine and bought a bike.
” God told me to buy a bike,” Davis said. “I probably will be riding it until I get my car.”
The only item that survived the fire was a bag containing a planner, books and a few other items. A towing company was called by the FAMU PD to remove the Honda from the scene.
Contact A’sia Horne-Smith at email@example.com.