A Mini Cooper was destroyed by fire after the driver pulled off Interstate 95 into the parking lot of Fireside Inn & Suites in Waterville on Wednesday. The driver was headed for Old Town when warning lights flashed indicating an engine problem. The car’s oil had been changed earlier in the day. Zachary Korbet,12, had grabbed a fire extinguisher in his mother’s car to put out the fire when the Waterville Fire Department arrived to douse the flames. Photo courtesy of Angelic and Zachary Korbet

WATERVILLE — A Mini Cooper was destroyed by fire Wednesday after its driver reported getting an oil change, driving on Interstate 95, and then seeing a light appear on the dashboard, indicating there was a problem.

The woman, estimated to be in her 40s, said she was driving north on Interstate 95, heading home to Old Town, when the car appeared to have a problem, according to police Sgt. Joshua Woods.

She called VIP, the place where she reportedly got the oil change, and someone there told her to pull over, so she left I-95 at the Main Street exit and parked at the Fireside Inn & Suites, Woods said.

“It heated up enough that the car engine caught on fire,” he said.

Police Sgt. Scott Dumas and Officer Jarrett Hill responded to the scene, as did the fire department, Woods said.

“If what she reported is true, that her oil light came on after an oil change, I suspect either that they didn’t put the petcock on tightly or forgot to put oil in,” Woods said.


The Mini Cooper, for which he did not immediately have a year, was destroyed, according to Woods.

“There are enough flammable fluids in a vehicle that it doesn’t take very long to burn beyond the point where it’s salvageable,” he said.

Woods said he did not know the location of the VIP where the woman had gotten the oil changed. He said no injuries were reported.

Meanwhile, Angelic Korbet and her son, Zachary, 12, saw  flames coming out of the Mini Cooper before firefighters arrived and Zachary, armed with a fire extinguisher, ran to help.

“He literally jumped out of the car before I even parked it,” Korbet said. “He grabbed the fire extinguisher out of the back. He pulled the pin. It was ready to go.”

Two men were walking around the car at the time and said they had called the fire department, according to Korbet. She said firefighters arrived before Zachary could use the fire extinguisher.


Zachary, who is home-schooled and in remission from leukemia, worries about fires and has a lot of fire extinguishers at home, she said.

“He’s just such a good boy,” she said.



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