Classic car catches fire in Sharon

  • Jaffrey firefighters put out a car fire Tuesday afternoon in Sharon. (Tony Marquis / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Tony Marquis—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Jaffrey firefighters put out a car fire Tuesday afternoon in Sharon. COURTESY PHOTO

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Tom Saari was driving up Route 123 on Tuesday afternoon, cruising in his yellow 1968 Pontiac GTO when he smelled gas. 

The Rindge man, 66, pulled over into a dirt driveway before Nashua Road.

“I was going to check it out,  as soon as I stopped, the thing went ‘pow’ and blew,” Saari said.

The engine exploded with Saari in the car, but he was able to get out uninjured. When Jaffrey Fire Chief David Chamberlain arrived, the car was ablaze. Chamberlain was able to get the fire partially knocked down with a water can -- a small fire extinguisher filled with water and a foam firefighting agent – before New Ipswich firefighters came and finished the job.

The front of the once-bright-yellow vehicle was charred black and the interior was completely destroyed.

"It looked like it was a real nice vehicle,” Chamberlain said.

Saari, a lover of classic cars, drove down to Florida six years ago to buy the vehicle. It reminded him of one he had when he was 16.

“I just wanted to get into that same one,” said Saari, who jokingly described the purchase as a “late-life crisis.”

The car’s rear license plate identifying it as an antique survived the blaze.

“It's definitely kind my favorite,” said Saari, who also owns a 1980 Chevy Corvette.

Chamberlain said it could have been a gas leak or bad wiring that caused the fire. Saari just took the vehicle out of storage.

“It’s fully insured, I don’t think it will be an issue,” Saari said.

Tony Marquis can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 225 or tmarquis@ledgertranscript.com. He is also on Twitter at @tmarquisMLT.