Waukesha Town Chairman John Marek battles car fire in Muskego

April 16, 2014

Waukesha Town Board Chairman John Marek said he did what anyone else would have done Tuesday afternoon when he saw a wrecked car on fire and dashed into a building, got a fire extinguisher and fought back the flames.

The only fires he had ever seen until that point were in his barbecue grill, he joked Wednesday. But when he saw flames licking out from under a car and in the engine compartment, he knew the fire had to be put out, he said.

The car had just careened into the wall of the Starbucks at Moorland and Janesville roads in Muskego after a collision in the intersection. Another good Samaritan had already helped the 22-year-old Milwaukee woman driver out of the car to safety.

Marek said he wasn't afraid the car would explode.

"I was more concerned about the other people around. I had to put it out," he said.

Marek pulled into the parking lot and ran into the first door he found. It turned out to be a vacant space in the same building as the Starbucks. But there he saw the fire extinguisher.

He used it to battle back the flames in the engine and crouched low to extinguish the flames that were coming from under the car.

Marek had emptied his fire extinguisher just when police arrived. The flames had subsided but revived, and the police officer used his fire extinguisher to battle the fire until firefighters arrived to douse the car with firehoses. The car was totaled.

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