The vehicle, a 2003 Cadillac CTS, caught fire while parked in the owners garage at their home.
“We bought it new, and after all those years … We never had any problems other than normal maintenance,” car and home owner, Gene Skluzacek said.
“The interesting thing is, we hadn’t driven it in four days. Every night, my wife checks to see if the garage door was closed and everything was fine. A little after midnight, something woke me up and I thought a prowler was in the garage, or a critter got in and went to investigate and got three feet away from the garage and could smell smoke.”
According to Skluzacek, his wife immediately called 911 and they exited the house with no injuries.
The fire was contained to only the garage and left only a smokey odor in the home, according to the Gulfport Fire Department’s Jim Lundh.
It is undeterminable how the fire started.
“It’s up to the insurance company to find out how it started,” Lundh said.
The residences of the home were able to return to the home after the fire department and engine 17 quickly extinguished the flames.
“Once it started, it only took them two to three minutes to extinguish,” Lundh said.
The car was a total loss as were much of the other items stored in the garage due to the reported 280 degrees heat caused by the fire, but one item that was damaged by the flames will be kept by the Skluzaceks: a melted clock.
“We had an old kitchen clock on the wall,” Skluzacek said. “It’s now a Dali painting.”