This morning at 6:30 a.m. I awoke to D saying "Do you smell that?" Never a good way to wake up. I sniffed and said yeah, what is that? I instantly thought that I must have left the toaster oven on or something. Then I noticed orange, flickering light reflected on the ceiling. We zipped the shades up and lo and behold, on the street right out front of my apartment, a big old white Jeep's engine was on fire; not just smoking or something, but on fire, in a big and unquestionable way. And it was parked right behind D's fancy car. We called 911, but they were already on it. D ran into the cops outside and they let him move his car, "if you hurry." He hurried. The cops sprayed the flames with their little tiny extinguishers but the fire just seemed to enjoy the attention and didn't get any smaller. The extinguishers made a big billow of white smoke/steam waft up to my open bedroom window and I was awake enough to close them before the cloud got inside. Then a fire engine showed up, and they hooked up a hose and sprayed the crap out of the car, but it still kept on relighting! Man. Finally they broke out the foam stuff, and that did the trick, though they had to whack the shit out of the front hood with a prybar in order to get it open so that they could really douse it.
By the time it was all over, the front half of the car was completely destroyed, and there was a very large white foamy puddle with small pieces of burnt car sitting in it. The woman who owned the car came out in her robe and be-towel-ed hair and said that earlier she had heard someone trying to steal her car, trying to get it to start. And I guess the car didn't turn over, but it got so hot that the dirty, oily engine caught fire. There are several key details missing in that story, though, and it's fairly unsatisfying.
UPDATE! I checked the local paper the next day and there was a little thing about the fire in the police blotter. They say it was most likely an electrical fire, and no foul play is suspected. So the whole thing about the owner hearing someone try to start her car was bullshit, apparently.