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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Everyday Towing Hero in CA!

Kudos to Erasmo Lopez of Malibu Towing!
Here's the Aug. 27 Malibu Times story:
By Jonathan Friedman / Assistant Editor

A Porsche Cayenne caught fire on Pacific Coast Highway just below Pepperdine University last Thursday morning. The flames nearly reached nearby brush. Nobody was injured.

"It could have endangered the heart of Malibu," said Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff's Deputy Jim Castro, who was the first officer to arrive at the scene. "The heart of Malibu was in danger for five critical minutes."

Malibu resident Rita Voge was driving her Porsche, which she said was "running shaky," to the repair shop at approximately 9:30 a.m. when she noticed smoke coming from the front hood.

"I stopped and pulled over, and I lifted up the hood," she said. "I was very lucky the guy from Malibu Towing was also coming up the hill, and he said he saw a fireball coming under my car. I didn't know."

Erasmo Lopez from Malibu Towing attempted to put out the fire with his extinguisher. This worked at first, but the flames soon restarted. A trail of water with flaming gasoline began to flow down the highway, threatening the brush on the side.

"So I grabbed the lady and told her to get into my truck because it [the Porsche] might blow up." Lopez said.

Lopez contacted firefighters at Los Angeles County Fire Station 88. They took approximately 20 minutes to extinguish the flames.

Capt. A.J. Cunningham said the gasoline had burned through a fuel line below the car, creating the fire trail along the highway.

"It was exciting for a little while," he said.

Voge said, "It was a scary moment, especially after I saw the fireball. I was very lucky."

Westbound traffic on Pacific Coast Highway was stopped at Webb Way for approximately an hour. Drivers were forced to turn onto Webb Way, and then go through Civic Center Way and onto Malibu Canyon Road before getting back onto the highway.

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