A Salt Spring woman is counting herself lucky after she and three dogs got out of her vehicle not long before it was destroyed by fire on Friday afternoon.
Diane Clarke was on her way to meet a friend for a walk at Channel Ridge just before the incident occurred. Being early, she drove around for a bit before deciding to head to their meeting place at the end of Broadwell Road and wait in her Toyota RAV4 SUV. While sitting there Clarke noticed what she thought was steam coming out from under the hood.
“I was just so lucky because I was quite a bit early for meeting my friend,” Clarke said. “I wouldn’t have seen the car was on fire if I continued to drive — the motion of the car would have pushed the smoke away. The car would have been very much further along in the fire if I’d kept driving.”
“I was driving a car that was on fire and I didn’t know it.”
Lt. Mitchell Sherrin of Salt Spring Fire-Rescue said another person looked under the hood and realized there was not just smoke but flames. Clarke fled the SUV with the three dogs, one of which belonged to another friend who is away for a week, and waited on a nearby hillside.