A Sevier County woman and her two dogs escaped safely from a car fire on Chapman Highway last Thursday when her 1977 Cadillac Coupe Deville became engulfed in flames around 12:45 pm in the southbound lane of Chapman Highway.
Audrey Miller said that she had just filled her car with gas (22-gallons) Wednesday night and was traveling, along with her two dogs, a deaf boxer riding shotgun and a Dalmatian in the backseat, when she first became aware that something may be amiss.
“ I smelled it getting hot so I thought maybe the engine may have been overheating,” said Miller, whose Coupe Deville had just became an antique this year. “I stopped and checked it and everything was fine so I got back in and kept going. I was in the passing lane and I saw flames shoot up beside my boxer in the passenger seat. I immediately pulled over to the shoulder, got my dogs out and bailed.”
Miller then went to a nearby business and called the Sevier County Fire Department. The flames were out of control by the time the first engine arrived. Miller said that in the several minutes before emergency personnel arrived, no one was directing traffic and her only concern at the time was the possibility of the fire spreading to the car’s gas tank and causing an explosion.
Sevier County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Wayne Patterson arrived on the scene minutes after the fire department, who extinguished the flames, preventing the fire from doing any further damage.
“I would guess that it was an electrical problem,” said Patterson who directed traffic while the firemen hosed down the flames. “She said she smelled it at Carl Owenby’s Hardware about two and a half miles back and that’s probably what got it started.”

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