BY STEVEN JUPITER
BRANDON—The call came into 911 a little before 9:00 p.m. on Thursday: a car was on fire on Route 7 just north of Cattails restaurant in Brandon. Emily Abair of Rutland had been traveling home to Rutland from dinner with her mother in Burlington when her Toyota Camry stalled. Smoke began to escape from under the hood. She tried to get the hood open but couldn’t before the wisps of smoke became billows.
A passing motorist, David Roberts of Brandon, was on his own way home from dinner in Randolph when he saw Abair on the side of the road trying to flag someone down. He pulled over, warned Abair to step away from the car, and called 911.
“I wish I’d had a fire extinguisher in my truck,” said Roberts. When he pulled over, the fire was small and limited to the undercarriage. But within minutes, it had spread to the body. By the time the fire trucks arrived, the Camry was engulfed in flames.
“[Abair’s] phone had died, so she couldn’t call anyone,” said Roberts. “She asked me to send her mother a text to let her know what had happened and that she was safe.”
Brandon Fire Department was able to recover Abair’s belongings from the trunk of the car. Brandon Police Department gave her a ride home to Rutland.