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Firefighters extinguish car fire at Spokane Valley gas station before flames can reach pump

A fire from this car nearly reached a gas pump at the Conoco gas station, 6606 E. Broadway Ave., in Spokane Valley Monday, Sept. 3, 2018. (Jonathan Glover / The Spokesman-Review)

Quick response from firefighters prevented a Spokane Valley gas station from going up in smoke Monday morning.

Nena Wheatcroft and her two nephews, Marshall and Jordan, were enjoying breakfast at the Broadway Diner next door to the Conoco gas station at 6606 E. Broadway Ave., when a woman driving a silver Nissan Altima came screeching in about 11 a.m.

“She came off the freeway, horns blowing,” Nena Wheatcroft said. “It’s smoking like mad.”

Marshall Wheatcroft said the woman pulled up next to a gas pump and immediately ran inside looking for help. A group of men emerged, fire extinguisher in hand, and pointed the end at the hood, which at this point had sizable flames emerging.

But rather than help, the family said the extinguisher did the opposite and made things much worse.

“It was heading straight toward the pump,” said Marshall Wheatcroft.

A few moments later, the Wheatcrofts said two Spokane Valley fire engines arrived and were able to quickly extinguish the blaze before it could reach a pump.

The woman, who asked not be identified, credited bystanders’ quick action with saving not only her life, but also the life of her yet-to-be-born baby. She said she is due next month.