ENFIELD, Maine — Jason Cox knew his luck, and his life, could have ended in a flash.
The 23-year-old Main Road resident was sawing the gasoline tank from a 1995 Ford Escort hatchback at his house on Tuesday when a metal spark flew into the tank.
He decided it was time to leave. Fast.
“I knew it was going to blow,” Cox said. “I needed to get the hell out of there.”
Cox jumped away as the spark ignited gas fumes and detritus in the tank and exploded, beginning a roaring fire that consumed the car, melted a door on a car parked next to the Escort and started to climb a nearby tree, he said.
When the first volunteer firefighters from the Howland Fire Department arrived at 2302 Main Road, the car was already demolished. They used spray foam to douse the flames, they said. No firefighters were injured.
Cox’s stepfather, James Heath, credited Cox for having the presence of mind to move the family pickup truck away from the flames and then to call 911 on his cell phone.
“We’re just lucky nobody got hurt,” Heath said. “That’s the important thing.”
Both wished that firefighters had arrived sooner. The car, they said, was one of the few remaining out of about 50 vehicles they were breaking down for scrap as part of the junkyard they operate.