Soon-to-be Newfoundland resident Jeanette Whalen is a master of understatement.
"It's been an adventure," she said just moments after her teenage daughter's 1997 Honda Passport was destroyed by fire on the shoulder of Hwy 104 on Wednesday afternoon.
Whalen was referring to the long-distance move her family is making from Houston, Texas, to St. John's, Nfld., where her husband Brian is from. They were travelling in a small convoy along with a U-Haul truck towing a U-Haul trailer.
She said they were on their way to the ferry in North Sydney for the final leg of the journey when Brian noticed smoke coming from under the Passport which was being towed behind a late-model Ford Bronco.
"I pulled over quickly," she said. "I pulled over and we unattached and then I pulled ahead."
Whalen said bystanders rushed to the aid of her and her family.
"The amazing people here from every direction came running with jugs of water and fire extinguishers."
She said once they realized the fire was getting worse the bystanders pitched in to help unload the household goods from the vehicle and move them to safety. Another bystander used the On-Star feature in his vehicle to provide a GPS location for the Alma Fire Department which was quickly on the scene to extinguish the blaze.
"This whole ordeal took a half-hour," she said while walking back to the Bronco to begin trying to cram some of their possessions into it.
"What we can't get into that we'll donate."
(The News, New Glasgow)