There I was, sound asleep when into my dreams intruded a sound – the sound of a large gas bottle being tipped over and rolled. It’s a large, metallic, hollow, ringing sound and not really the type of sound you can sleep through. It woke us both up, but the sound of it rolling stopped pretty quickly. “Didn’t hit our car.” my sleepy mind tells me, “Might as well go back to sleep.”. Riina’s far more civic minded brain however, told her to get up and have a look. As she pulled back the curtain to look through the window, I could see a flickering orange light playing off one of the large walls I could see from bed. Apparently, there was a fire outside.
We both got up and went to the front door. Riina ran and grabbed the phone – there was a car on fire on our street! Parked across the road no less! What’s more, it had a large gas cylinder lying against the burning tyre. Triple Zero was called, Fire was requested and address was given. I took a couple of photos – didn’t get any of the car on fire though:
I must admit, it’s a first for me – seeing a car being burnt out. I was thinking “How Beirut!”, but in the last few years, burning out cars is suddenly very Paris. Before the Police & Fire-fighters arrived, it was oddly calm and quite quiet – you could hear the crackle and popping of various bits of Hyundai. When you see this on TV there’s rioters and looters running about. In Barnett St, there was just a guy moving his car to a park further away from the burning one.
The Police arrived shortly afterward and Riina & I told them what we knew – which wasn’t much accept when the unsubs ( That’s Unknown Subject for all you non-criminal minds watchers) moved the gas bottles next to the car (Riina had checked her phone – 04:24). There were more police the following morning. The car that burnt belongs to a local panel beater and, according to the Police, there’s some tension between the some local residents about them using up parking spaces. The rest of the panel beater’s cars had sticky notes claiming that parking on our street is for residents only – not sure how they reached that conclusion – there’s no parking signs anywhere to be seen.
Placing a large gas cylinder next to a burning car is amping up the danger level – I’m not sure how hot it would have to be for it to burst, but the damage would be massive – the sound would be immense.
So, Random Drunk idiots? Mis-guided local parking crusader? Panel Beater competition? I guess we’ll never know.