Sorry if this is the wrong forum. Mods, please move as needed.
Yesterday as I was driving down the main street in my town, I noticed that one of the cars ahead of me in the right lane had flames coming from the rear (underside). The driver wasn’t aware of this happening until the occupant in front of me had rolled down his window and yelled to her that her car was on fire. She quickly turned off onto a side street, and I lost sight of her. I would have stopped to help, but honestly I have no idea what to do in those situations, I didn’t have my cell phone on me, and there were businesses nearby so she could get help. Plus, I didn’t want to be close if her car had exploded (I’m sure that’s just a movie phenomenon, though).
But I got to wondering: Why was her car on fire? What are the correct steps to take in such a weird situation? Aren’t fuel tanks appropriately designed to prevent a major catastrophe if the car happens to be flaming?
I once watch a whole car burn to nothing but a charred skeleton in a parking lot. I was parked across the street and a few buildings down, and witnessed the tires blow out before the fire department arrived and hosed the thing down. Needless to say, the car didn’t explode like in the movies, but it was entirely engulfed. I was fascinated.