CLEMMONS, N.C. — Robert Daigle said he had no idea anything was wrong as he drove along Interstate 40 West through Clemmons until a couple flagged him down and started yelling.
“I jumped out of the vehicle. I look under the vehicle, and there’s fire under the vehicle and, something dripping down that’s on fire,” he said. “I yelled at my friend to get out of the passenger side of the vehicle and get a safe distance away and called 911.”
Daigle explained that he had rented the 2020 Ford F150 from Enterprise in Raleigh. He was heading to Asheville to celebrate his bachelor party when the fire started around 8:30 p.m. on Thursday night.
“It was just panic at first, like this isn’t really happening,” he said.
Clemmons firefighters were able to put the fire out within a few minutes. The fire chief told FOX8 a mechanical issue caused the flames.
“I rented a car that had four-wheel drive on it to be safer on the trip, it turns out we may have been safer in our own vehicle and not renting a vehicle,” Daigle said.
An Enterprise spokesperson said the vehicle was just recently put into rental service and only had about 2,300 miles on it.
“Safety is always the principle interest for our fleet. A basic visual Trunk to Trunk inspection for safety items, tires and warning lights, change in vehicle condition and personal items left behind is completed with each new rental transaction,” wrote Lisa Martini in an email. “Additionally, it’s our policy that a vehicle in need of preventive maintenance, tires, brakes or other important repairs must have the necessary maintenance completed before the vehicle is rented.”
Daigle said the company provided another SUV to continue his drive.
He said he was thankful to the couple who got his attention.
“We are very grateful. Not only did they stop, they stayed there for about an hour to make sure everything was ok,” he said.
No one was injured.