Friday, July 11, 2008

Burning down the house!!!

So as I was following Steve, him in the SUV pulling the camper and me driving our (future home) bus. We were finally heading home to Asheville from Statesville when around Hickory my gages all started going crazy and I could not accelerate. Thankfully my brakes did work and as I pulled over I noticed smoke coming out of the battery compartment. All I could think of was that I was about to blow up. Steve did not see me pull over so I grabbed my phone to call him. About this time it started raining. I grabbed our 2 big fire extinguishers that we had rented for our firework stand and my purse and got out quick. Of course we still had our fireworks that our manager had given us in the bus. You know the BIG illegal ones and they were sitting right above the battery compartment. I ran around the back of the bus and saw the smoke was coming from the battery compartment and not the engine (we have a rear engine). I called Steve & told him to come back right away and that our bus was on FIRE! I could see flames in the battery compartment. I had never used a fire extinguisher & was too upset to figure it out. About this time a small car with it's trunk open pulled up behind me. A guy got out and shut the trunk and went up the embankment with his pocket knife and started cutting off branches. He started sharpening the branches. I was so scared that he was planning on killing me or something that I couldn't think straight. The bus was on fire and crazy guy was sharpening branches with a knife and where the HELL was Steve??????? Finally Steve got there and put the fire out (yeah....he figured out the extinguisher in like 2 seconds) and the crazy guy came over and asked Steve for a wire hanger or something because he had locked himself out of his car. His trunk had apparently popped open while he was driving so he pulled over to close it and had accidentally hit the lock button when he got out to shut the trunk. So he was trying to sharpen a branch to slim jim the lock. The guy actually was very nice and after Steve got his car unlocked he stuck around to help us get the burnt up batteries out of the bus and then took us to Auto Zone to get new batteries. We had 4 in the compartment and 3 were melted pretty bad. 2 were the house batteries for the bus and 2 were 6Volts for our solar panels that were not hooked up yet. One of the house batteries looked ok, well it was covered in ash, but not melted like the others, but we decided to replace both house batteries just to be safe. The parts guys was surprised the batteries did not explode. We also bought lots of electrical tape to cover ALL the wires as that is what Steve thinks happened was 2 exposed wires ignited. Those of you that know Steve well know he is not a car guy. He didn't even know how to put oil in a car when I met him! So we were both kinda wondering if he would be able to fix it. We had a family prayer and from that point on I knew he would fix it. Things went really smoothly when we got back to the bus. I helped (mostly watched) Steve install the new batteries and wrap all the wires. Then the true test came....starting the bus. I went to start it and nothing. Then he tried and he noticed I had not put the air brakes on (big mistake) and I left it in Drive!!! Well the bus WAS on FIRE and I WAS in a hurry to get out! OOPS! So he quickly fixed that and got it started. We then headed home with him behind me this time. We got home around 10:30 pm so a 2 hr drive became 7hrs, but we all got home safe.

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