Canadian C4 Corvette Bursts Into Flame in Owner’s Driveway

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Luckily nobody was physically hurt, but we can feel the heartbreak from south of the border.

In the Canadian town of Quinte West — near Belleville on the northern shores of Lake Ontario, basically opposite Rochester, New York — a Corvette burned to the ground. This tragedy occurred just over a week ago, on the 12th of April, at around four in the afternoon. The cause of the fire has not been determined, and because of the extensive damage, likely never will be.

“The owner had started the car while it was in the garage and noticed smoke coming from under the hood. He quickly backed the vehicle on to the driveway and called 9-1-1,” said Quinte West fire chief, John Whelan. “Some of the siding on the house melted too. The house could have caught fire; we’re lucky the guys got there quick and it wasn’t windy. And good thing he backed it out really quick, that was smart on his part, or else the house would have caught fire.”

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Whelan later commented that he thought the cause of the fire might be a mechanical issue. Unfortunately, with the car being fully engulfed in flames, the damage was too extensive to fully grasp what caused it.

We like to think of our Corvettes as bullet-proof reliable, and many of us take for granted the fact that they’ll start right up and drive without any issues. As cars like this get older, though, we should all start considering replacing the aging rubber and plastic fuel lines. It’s possible that one of those fuel rail leads sprung a leak and sprayed down an exhaust manifold or something. There are so many possibilities for an engine compartment fire, but fuel is often an appropriate culprit. It’s a good thing the owner saw the smoke and backed the car out of the garage, because this could have been an absolute disaster.

Stay safe out there, folks.

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Bradley Brownell is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and 6SpeedOnline, among other auto sites.

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