Steven Terry experienced his own version of Hades early Thursday morning – a wall of flames bearing down on his collection of classic cars, and he’s helpless to do anything about it.
All that’s left of his five cherished cars now is “whatever steel they had in them,” Terry said. “Everything else is gone.”
The tires, the interiors, the wiring – all taken away by flames.
“In hell,” he said as he relived those moments as he saw the fire spreading through his garage. “That’s where I was.”
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Investigators have told him the fire was likely ignited by an electrical problem in the detached garage next to his house at 124 S. Lamar in Haysville. Terry said he and his fiancee heard a loud pop around midnight, but he couldn’t find anything amiss when he checked around the house.
About five minutes later, they heard three or four more pops. When Terry got up and looked out the window toward the garage, he could see a glowing red light through a window shade.
He told his fiancee to grab their infant son and get out of the house. He ran to the backyard between the house and garage and gathered their dogs.
Heat from the fire melted the garage door opener’s wires, prompting the garage door to open. He looked inside the garage and saw flames “just rolling out across the ceiling” of the garage, lapping near his collection of classic cars.
“It was like a bad nightmare,” he said.
There was nothing he could do to save them.
Gone is the black 1979 Trans Am he spent 10 years restoring. He figures he’d poured $60,000 into that car, including a brand new engine.
He’d gotten it “in pieces” as an early high school graduation present and painstakingly restored it.
“It was a show car for sure,” said Terry, who is 25.
Gone, too, are a 2001 V28 Trans Am, a 2000 W6 Trans Am, a 1982 Z28 Camaro and a 1991 GTA Trans Am.
Heat from the fire melted siding and blew out three windows on the back side of the house. Terry and his fiancee and son will need to live somewhere else for a while, because water and electricity were cut off to the house as a result of the fire damage.