Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

November 12, 2013

Fire destroys vintage Chevrolet on way to Veterans Day parade

BRAMWELL — Fire destroyed a vintage automobile Monday morning just as its owner was taking it to a Veterans Day parade.

The fire was reported at approximately 8:45 a.m. after a 1949 Chevrolet started to burn along U.S. Route 52 near Bramwell. Owner Jack Jenkins, 61, of Bluewell was leaving to attend the Welch Veterans Day Parade when he noticed smoke and decided to back the vehicle into its garage and select another car for the parade.

Jenkins watched anxiously as the flames spread. The Bramwell Volunteer Fire Department had been called. An engine arrived at approximately 9:05 a.m.

“If they would come on, we could save most of it,” he said.

“I was getting ready to back it into the garage and get another car,” he said. Smoke appeared from under the dashboard and the car started to burn. Flames quickly engulfed the car. One fire extinguisher was lying near Jenkins. He said he kept two in the car for emergencies.

“Fire extinguishers wouldn’t even slow it down,” he said as his Chevrolet burned. “Man, that’s a lot of years gone to waste right there. That’s a $12,000 paint job on that car,” Jenkins said.

The fire burned out the car’s interior and scorched most of the paint. The paint featured flames and a small dragon on the trunk.

Fire Chief Joe Miller said firefighters responded as quickly as possible.

“It does take about 10 minutes,” he said of the time it takes the volunteer firefighters, most who do not live in the town of Bramwell, to reach their fire station. “We respond as fast as we can. We don’t stay at the fire station.”

— Contact Greg Jordan at

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