Car fire at Tisbury School
Friday the 13th lived up to its bad luck reputation last week for Cathy Weiss, who looked out from a classroom at Tisbury School around 8:35 am to see her car in flames on West Spring Street.
Tisbury Fire Chief John Schilling and 18 volunteer firefighters responded to the call a few minutes later and quickly extinguished the fire in the engine compartment. Chief Schilling said the 1990 Acura was a total loss.
Ms. Weiss said she bought the car in 2001 and had just spent $800 on repairs in January before getting it inspected. Chief Schilling said the repair work did not include anything that would have been a source of ignition.
Ms. Weiss works as an assistant to grade 7-8 science teacher Connie Alexander and as choreographer for Tisbury School's shows. Last Friday she parked in the lot in front of the town's old department of public works garage, which proved fortunate because there were no other cars nearby.
Chief Schilling said the only collateral damage from the fire involved two navigation buoys and some shellfish traps owned by the town.
Ms. Weiss said the fire started about 25 minutes after she parked. "My car just exploded - the fire was huge - the tires were popping and black smoke was pouring out," she said.
Ms. Weiss said her only thought was about rescuing her rollerblades from the backseat. Although the school quickly collected $150 in donations to buy some new ones, her roller-blades were recovered unscathed. Ms. Weiss asked if she could put the money towards a new car instead.
Friday's experience turned into a reunion of sorts for Ms. Weiss, who also worked as an assistant to kindergarten teacher Claire Joannidi for 23 years.
"I counted three firemen that had been kindergarten students of mine - Chris Kann, Patrick Murphy, and Patrick Rolston - and I said to them, I remember you all wanted to be firemen when you grew up," Ms. Weiss said with a laugh. "The sense of community that you gain from an experience like this is such an asset. I'm lucky."