Photo submitted to the CBC by Patty Atwell Tennant
Cambridge, Ontario — Few things are bad enough to be called a burning wreck. Unfortunately for one man in Cambridge, Ont., his 2015 Hyundai Sonata turned into one when his car burst into flames right as he pulled into the driveway.
In an interview with the CBC, Mike Tennant described how a “large flame came up over the hood,” warning his wife that his car was on fire.
“I was shaking so bad I couldn’t dial 911,” recalls Tennant.
According to the CBC, it was only 15 minutes since he picked up the car from a dealership after servicing on Nov. 9, 2021. More than a year later, there remains no official cause or agreement over who or what was responsible.
The CBC’s Go Public investigators contacted two experts with videos of the burning car and service records from the dealership. Eli Melnick, an electrical engineer, licensed mechanic and forensic investigator says that the intensity of the flames suggests it might have been fueled by an accelerant.
Matt Carpenter, an instructor and expert in automotive mechanics at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology made a similar assessment, highlighting that an accelerant accounts for the size and spread of the fire but not the root cause, with Melnick saying that 15 minutes was the approximate time for engines to reach operating temperature—hot enough to start a fire.
The remains were sold by Allstate, who did not say whether an investigation was conducted before or after they sold the vehicle for salvage.