A 1923 Ford Bucket-T Roadster was charred and a garage destroyed after a fire ignited at approximately 11:10 a.m. Sunday at 702 S. Cedar St. in Marion.
The owner of the Bucket-T, Kevin Geren, said the fire started when he pulled a metal pan that was half-full of gas out from underneath his beloved hotrod.
“I don’t know how it happened but there must’ve been a spark when I pulled it,” Geren said. “I fell backward, got up, and ran out of the garage hollering ‘fire, fire.’”
Geren said he had previously elevated the Bucket-T and placed the pan underneath it after his wife noticed a leak in its gas line when they were filling up at a Marion gas station on Saturday.
He removed the pan because they planned to drive the hotrod to the movies on Sunday after church, he said, but the blaze interrupted their plans.
“The flames were up to the ceiling,” Geren said. “My left arm got hot and the hairs were singed while I jacked the front end up off of the jack-stands.”
Once he got all four tires on the ground, a neighbor helped him pull his flaming hotrod out of the burning garage, he said.
“Only the front end was on fire,” Geren said, “I put it in neutral and we pulled out by its back bumper.”
The fire also damaged a Harley Davidson motorcycle and numerous tools, Geren said.
Fire Chief Mike Regnier confirmed that the fire started with the car, but said the fire marshal would know for sure in two to three weeks.
“I don’t think the car was totaled — the back seemed OK but the front half was destroyed,” Regnier said. “The garage was totaled. Its roof burned off.”