PEI

Island man escapes early morning car fire near Brookvale

An Island man says he's lucky to be alive after his car burst into flames on a rural road early Thursday morning.

'I got out just in time'

'I did manage to get the window down ... and I just, I got out just in time,' says Chris Gallant. (Submitted by Chris Gallant)

An Island man says he's lucky to be alive after his car burst into flames on a rural road early Thursday morning.

Chris Gallant is an independent contractor who delivers newspapers on P.E.I. He said he was completing his deliveries on Route 13 near Brookvale when his car seemed to lose power as he tried to drive up a hill. 

"I managed to get it turned around trying to get back down to the bottom of the hill and before I got halfway down the engine compartment was engulfed in flames," he said.

Gallant said he then drove the car into a snowbank on the side of the road and when he came to a stop he realized he couldn't get his car door open. 

"I did manage to get the window down," Gallant said. "I got it all the way down and I … got out just in time."

Gallant says he's grateful his six-year-old son wasn't in the car at the time. (Submitted by Chris Gallant)

Gallant said he was only able to grab his cellphone before jumping out of the car window. He said he lost his wallet, keys, jacket and all the newspapers in the vehicle. But he said the most difficult loss was a photograph he had in the car of he and his brother who died in a car accident in 2015.

He waited near the burning car for emergency crews to arrive, but by the time they got there the vehicle was fully ablaze.

Gallant said while the car is a total loss, it could have been much worse.

"I'm just grateful my son wasn't with me. I'm a single father of a six-year-old," he said.

He said he has access to another car for the next couple of days and continued to deliver papers later that afternoon. 

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