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Woman Attempts To Warm Minivan With Charcoal And Guess What Happened

Illustration for article titled Woman Attempts To Warm Minivan With Charcoal And Guess What Happened

This really shouldn't be a shock to anyone, but for the record, let's just say it's usually a pretty bad idea to set a charcoal fire under your car. A Wisconsin woman did just that, and set her 2007 Dodge Caravan on fire. Even better, she lives in an area named after a burning torch!


The Lac du Flambeau woman was trying to start her minivan in some really awful temperatures, around -23°F, and after removing her battery and warming it indoors (smart), she decided to warm the engine block with a charcoal fire (not smart).


The inevitable fire started with the underside of the bumper, and quickly spread to all the deliciously flammable bits of rubber under the hood and around the engine bay, causing what the local news says is "about $1000" worth of damage. That would total a 2007 Caravan, right?

I kid, I kid! Still, that looks like it's way more than $1000 of damage to me — those plastic bumper covers alone aren't cheap, and it looks like grille, lights, air cleaner, hoses, and a lot more got engulfed in flames. And then there's paint. The news story also referred to the "engine chamber," which has a strangely medieval feel to it as well, so I'm going to take their estimate with a grain of salt.

So, once again, we all know it's cold, and we get desperate — but an open fire under your car is rarely a good idea.

(Thanks Allan and other tippers!)

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So wait.


1. Went outside in the -23* weather, brushed off her car (10min) grabbed a wrench or two, popped the hood, and removed the battery (10 min)?

2. After bringing the battery inside to warm it, went back out into the -23* weather, cleared an area, placed some charcoal, and took the time to start a charcoal fire (15-20 min)?

So basically an idiot who wasted 30 minutes in the frigid cold in an attempt to pre-warm her car (discounting the time wasted had her scheme worked) ending in firey death (for the car), when in reality, her modern car could have been started and allowed to run for 10 minutes (the same 10 minutes she used to brush the snow off) and been 100% fine.