Motorists stop to help Winnipeg family whose car spontaneously caught fire
Published Saturday, December 10, 2016 5:47PM CST
Last Updated Saturday, December 10, 2016 6:54PM CST
Motorists stopped to help a father and son on Fermor Avenue Saturday morning, during a raging car fire.
It happened near Southdale Centre in St. Boniface.
Richard Symchuk and his son William had just left Tim Hortons when the car caught fire.
Symchuk got out, but his 30-year-old son, who lives with Down syndrome, was still inside. Concerned, Ross Ewbank pulled over to help.
"The size was fairly big under the hood. I knew it was going to get bigger,” said Ewbank. “I wanted to get him out of the car because the car was in flames, and it was a safety thing for me,” he added.
The concern didn't end there. Joanne Boulet was the way home from the chiropractor when she spotted the flames shooting up, and saw Symchuk standing near the car.
“He seemed to be in shock, and I could see oil or something underneath the front of the car,” said Boulet.
Boulet invited Symchuk's son into her van to keep warm, and convinced Symchuk to get back, until the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service arrived.
“It's very upsetting. You know the few belongings that are important to him are in the car,” she said.
Fire fighters said a car can catch fire for a number of reasons, including a mechanical issue, but couldn’t say what caused the flames.
Symchuk said he doesn't know what might have sparked the fire, but is thankful no one got hurt.
"I'm happy that I came and stopped,” said Boulet.
Within minutes fire fighters arrived, and were able douse the car with water.
Symchuk was able to retrieve his son's backpack of personal items.
“I'm appreciative to these people and they got to 911,” said Symchuk.
The car is Symchuk’s main mode of transportation. He said he has another car but it's out of town and can't be driven.
Now Symchuk is trying to figure out another way to get around.