Monday, December 11, 2017

Stop Parking on Leaf Piles Unless You Want Your Car to Burn

Posted By on Mon, Dec 11, 2017 at 12:31 PM

click to enlarge Super-flammable leaf piles can turn your car into an inferno. - IMAGE VIA ST. LOUIS FIRE DEPARTMENT
  • Image via St. Louis Fire Department
  • Super-flammable leaf piles can turn your car into an inferno.
This holiday season, give yourself the gift of not accidentally torching your car in the middle of the street for all the neighborhood to see.

Because people are apparently doing that in St. Louis. A perfectly fine minivan in Compton Heights burned on Saturday, and now its charred skeleton is the sad background for cautionary TV news stories.

The St. Louis Fire Department says you can keep that from happening to you by not parking on top of super-flammable piles of leaves. As it turns out, the scorching exhaust pipe on your car is hot enough to ignite a bumper-high mound of leaves and roast your vehicle from the bottom up.

And since those leaves may well be sitting there for another month now — thanks, Streets Department! — this warning is even more timely.

If you've never seen a car burn, it's pretty amazing. They go up really fast. Your neighbors — probably the same ones who raked all their leaves into the street in the first place — are going to take some crazy videos and post them on Facebook and tell you "at least no one got hurt" before driving off to dinner.

You don't want that. Don't park on leaf piles.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.

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