Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Car Bomb in Four Corners?

There were shades of Baghdad in Four Corners early this week when a Ford Focus mysteriously exploded near the Dennis Avenue & Procter Streets near Four Corners early Monday morning. I live far enough away that the explosions didn't wake me, but I certainly heard quite a few emergency vehicles headed in that direction.

An eyewitness account was sent to me by Patrick, who lives near the scene of the explosion:

At around midnight last night my wife and I were awoken by the sound of an explosion. It was a loud, long BOOOOM that we could actually FEEL. It was just an unforgettable sound.

We darted outside, as did several of our neighbors, to find flames rising high into the air. I ran back inside and called 911 (as did apparently my entire neighborhood). We then walked toward the spot where the sound came from (dozens of people had come out of their homes to see what happened), and about a block from our house, at the corner of Dennis Ave & Procter St, a car had exploded. This was no ordinary car fire. I've seen car fires before. This was an explosion that shook the neighborhood. So I'm guessing it was set intentionally.

While car fires are not uncommon, non-Pinto cars don't generally explode (except in movies), as they are designed specifically NOT to do that. No one in the neighborhood has claimed the car and the authorities can't determine what caused the car to explode in the first place. All of this is quite mysterious. Is there an Al Qaeda sleeper cell operating in Silver Spring?? (If there is, it is a really lame one.)

A side note: Michael Ealy, the star of Showtime's Sleeper Cell series is from Silver Spring.

UPDATE: The photo in this post is not actually the car fire/bomb from Four Corners, but is of an exploded car in Iraq used for dramatic effect. Apparently there was some confusion about this. Unfortunately I don't have a photo of the actual car, but if someone does, PLEASE send it!


Silver Spring Skins said...

Thanks for posting this. What a weird night that was. I'm the "Patrick" quoted in the original post. When I called the police station to see if I--as a concerned citizen--could get some information about what had happened and why the car exploded, the woman who answered the phone basically said, "a car exploded, that's what happened." She seemed surprised that I gave a crap.

So I asked her, "if a car exploded in your neighborhood in the middle of the night, and no one claimed ownership of the car, you wouldn't find that the slightest bit odd?"

Sure would be nice to get some answers about what happened other than just, "a car exploded."

Rfustero said...

I did not see much coverage in the media about this- what are they hiding?

This is only three blocks from my sisters house- I hope we get some more info very soon

Twoste said...

Maybe it was one of those hybrid motor cars, with the electric battery that got a little hot while being plugged in or, kidding, Ford doesn't even make those yet.
So, if Al Qaeda is operating in Silver Spring, where would they hang out? My money is on either Lebanese Taverna (okay maybe not) or Macaroni Grill, where it's dark and you can sit in the corner for hours an no one will bother you.

Silver Spring Skins said...

I just hope the authorities are taking it seriously. I mean, I'd feel better if someone at least came forward and claimed ownership.

If the car didn't belong to someone in the neighborhood, then what was it doing there? And then it just randomly explodes? Something doesn't add up.

A. Forsteri said...

My theory:

The truck was stolen, either for a joy ride or insurance fraud, then abandoned and set afire to destroy evidence. The Gazette says the explosion came from the gas tank igniting and tires popping under the heat.

I would be VERY surprised if anyone came to clame the truck.

Sligo said...

Note: it was a smaller car, a Ford Focus, rather than a truck.

Again, though a very unusual set of circumstances needs to exist to make a car explode in that manner.

Did the VIN survive? With that number it shouldn't be hard to track down where the car came from.

A. Forsteri said...

Sligo wrote:

"Note: it was a smaller car, a Ford Focus, rather than a truck."

Shows you how much I know about cars. :-)

What if the gas tank was full? I'm thinking flammable liquid + pressure = KABOOM!

Sligo said...

Actually, the opposite would be true. A full gas tank would be less likely to explode. If anything, the fumes are more explosive than the liquid gasoline. The fuller the tank, the less fumes...

Either way, a car shouldn't be exploding.

Michelle said...

Holy crap. Yeah, per my comment on the previous posting to this one, it scared the hell out of me up here in Woodmoor---I can't even imagine what that sounded like up close. Glad those of you in the immediate area are all physically OK.

What can we SS'ers do to see that this doesn't get filed away as a "we'll never know" kind of thing by the cops? Anyone we can call, etc.?

Silver Spring Skins said...

Michelle, I'm glad you asked that. I'll try to gather a bit of info on that and post it here in the next couple of days.

As I said before, I hope they take this seriously, because it's pretty freakin' weird. It shouldn't be swept under the rug. Thanks for your concern.

Silver Spring Skins said...

I found a bit of contact information for the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service that may be helpful. I encourage anyone concerned about this to express their concern to the parties below. I plan to do so myself.

The Public Information Office of the MoCo Fire & Rescue Service can be reached at (240) 777-2474.

The Fire & Explosive Investigations division of the MoCo Fire & Rescue Service can be reached at (240) 777-2255.

The Battalion Chief of the Fire & Explosive Investigations division is Mark E. Davis:

For what it's worth, I didn't get anywhere trying to get info out of the police on this a couple of days after the incident took place. That was disappointing.

Silver Spring Skins said...

Good news...well, sort of. I received a return call from a rep from the MoCo Fire & Rescue Service. He called back promptly, which was nice. He said the vehicle in question had been stolen from DC and dropped in the neighborhood, and then lit with a flammable liquid. An explosive device was not used, and it was not an act of terrorism.

The investigation is ongoing. It's disturbing that this happened a block from my house, but I at least feel better knowing what happened.

Apparently there has been a rash of cars being stolen from DC and dropped in the Silver Spring area lately, so keep an eye out for suspicious vehicles in your area. If you see a car on your street that appears to be abandoned, call police non-emergency at 301-279-8000.

Sligo said...

I bet the car from last night's accident was stolen from DC.

Anonymous said...

You're correct, Sligo, the car was stolen from DC...which explains why nobody was out there that night screaming, "What the *#%! happened to my car??!!" (the normal and healthy response in such a situation).

Anonymous said...

Whoops! I didn't read back far enough. I thought you were talking about the car on Dennis Ave. that blew up. My bad!

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