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Updated on September 15, 2015

My downfall

No. That is not the fire. I did not have time to take pictures while trying to put the fire out. But the fire I will be talking about in a few minutes I blame on myself. On careless actions. No. On my attitude.

It starts like this. I bought an old motorcycle from a friend. He had just ridden it over to visit his mother a couple of counties away. Some where on the trip he ran into a heavy rain storm and the motorcycle developed some serious trouble. He barely made it home with it coughing and sputtering. After that he could not even get it started.

The result was, he was willing to sell it cheap enough I could buy it. And I was wanting to fix up a motorcycle for about a 3000 mile trip. So, a deal was made.

It happened that this friend and a couple of others along with myself met every Tuesday night on our motorcycles one place or another to eat and - well B.S. about motorcycles. And the next night was the day we were to get together.

Being a man [Sort of.] I wanted to get the motorcycle started so the next night when he would be asking me about it, I could casually say, "yep, I got it going." - or some such thing. Now the Scriptures teach us;

"Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall." (Proverbs 16:18 NKJV)

You guessed it. I not only set it on fire - but never did get it started. In fact, I ended up giving it away.

In the shop

No. That is not the motorcycle. But it was one very similar to it. Ford of course did not make motorcycles. But for a time I was a Ford technician, hence the Ford emblem. The fire took place just behind the motorcycle you see near the yellow feed sacks on the floor.

One other thing. The red fire extinguisher you see in the back ground is now a new one. Take that as a safety hint.

I started off like I would on any other stubborn motorcycle. Check the gas. It had about one half of a tank full of gas. Then set the gas valve to "primary" to be sure the gas would by-pass the valve and get to the carburetors. If the engine had not run in a while (And it had not) the carburetors could be out of gas. And my guess would be that I had removed the air cleaner to give me better access to the carburetors.

Of course it did not start. Now get the starting fluid. Some of us who are used to working on engines get a little "too used" to using starting fluid. So a couple of extra squirts should only help. Well, they did, just not the way I wanted.

The engine back fired and caught number two carburetor on fire. As you can see from the picture below, number two carburetor would be the one way in the back. (No again. These are not the same style of carburetor that caught fire.) And further you can see that it is right under the tank that is half full of gas. Then the fun begin.

The fire

Flames from the carburetor were coming up around the gas tank. I grabbed a rag and begin beating at the flames to keep them from the tank. It was sort of keeping the flames off the tank but was not putting the fire out in anyway whatever.

I remembered that as an auto mechanic in the past I had set carburetors on fire while working on an engine. And, believe it or not, I was able to blow the fires out with my mouth before the fire got too big. So, I tried blowing the fire out. I guess it only fanned it. I only singed my eye brows and lips.

Then I begin looking around for my fire extinguisher. While beating at the fire I finally spotted the fire extinguisher. Grabbed it. Pulled the pin and squeezed the trigger. Nothing. The fire extinguisher had been sitting in the shop too many years. Though never used, the pressure was all gone.

Back to beating with the rag. I was not gaining any on the fire and was getting tired. Real tired. I was ready to let the motorcycle burn up. But if I did that, I would loose the shop.

The shop door was open so I considered pushing it out the door and then let it burn. But my car was just out side the door. And I did not want set it on fire. Then i would lose the car and the shop. And if I pushed the burning motorcycle past my car, it would go over the hill and probably end by the house. That way I would lose the house.

By now I am very tired beating at the fire and desperate. Finally coming to my senses I cried out in desperation, and loud enough for the whole world to hear, "Jesus help me."

The words were no more than out of my mouth when the fire went out instantly.

"God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble." (Psalms 46:1 NKJV)


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