A couple of nights back Erika noticed a nasty burning smell wafting through the windows. I walked around the complex for a few minutes looking for the source. Then, I came upon this tiny Asian couple standing at the gate staring through its bars. The woman was talking on the phone in broken English. Parked directly outside the building in front of a tree was their car—hood ablaze. Apparently, it had overheated and caught on fire after they parked it. Next to the man’s feet was a bucket of water. He had done the last thing he should have—thrown water on it. A blanket or a fire extinguisher would have worked wonders and possibly saved their car, but not water. A loud hiss exited the hood, startling me, as the fire grew larger. It was probably the radiator. I was starting to get worried the blaze would jump to the tree or the car parked in front of it. I walked down the hall contemplating whether I should bust the glass to one of the extinguishers when I heard sirens. The firefighters had the fire out within moments. The front of the car was a melted, black mess.
Everything in California seems to catch on fire.