There's a street across Green Road from my house that slopes gently to a stop sign. A short "No Outlet" block comes in there, and a swath of woods divides two nice houses. It's a sweet spot, glows warm and right in magic hour light. But this time it's all spinning lights—cops and fire engines surrounding a burgundy-ish Ford sedan. That was just on fire.
Not having been there, I know exactly what's happened.
Car starts overheating, driver pulls over, flames lick hood edges, guy can't believe it (visions of exploding car movie scenes dance in his head), he bails, fire department gets call, chemically-foamy-sudsy-bright white spray floods the engine and ends up in the gutter and the guy still can't believe it and now the stink is the only reminder that this wasn't just a trip to Heinen's for juice and canned peas.
Cars in flame are one of those archetypal images of end-of-days lore, proffering wail-full moments of trekkers in trouble. Nothing good comes from a scene with a burning car.
I once saw a car engine burning, albeit a small flicker of flames, and the emergency folks didn't seem too stressed about it. A mechanic told me if you shut off the car and stop the fuel flowing the chances of an engine exploding are pretty slim, and the car won't fireball unless the gas tank leaks.
True or not, who cares? Fire in my engine needs no explanation, it just needs me gone.