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Fighting a Fire Caused by an Accident

In this episode of FireTalk, we interview Paul Berthaud, an automotive enthusiast and good Samaritan who used his H3R Performance extinguisher to help a fellow motorist in distress after a dramatic accident.


Teresa:
All right everyone welcome to FireTalk. I am very excited to have Paul with me. Paul, how are you doing today?

Paul:
Doing great.

Teresa:
Good, good. So yeah we wanted to do this with you because you had a fire happen and used our product so we wanted to get to know you a little bit and talk about what happened. So First off. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, and how you became a car enthusiast?

Paul:
So my name's Paul. I'm an Air Force veteran, been messing around with cars ever since I got my license. I think that I got that from my father, he's a car enthusiast as well, and what really kicked it off for me right around the time I got my license that's when the first Fast and Furious movie came out, and so it's just basically been like an obsession since then.

Teresa:
So what kind of builds do you have going right now?

Paul:
Now currently I have a 1991 Toyota MR2, it's probably the third one that I've had I really enjoy the cars and I’d like to keep this to completion. It's pretty much done now, so it's just driving around and enjoying it.



Teresa:
What made you choose H3R Performance extinguishers for your vehicle?

Paul:
I was doing a bit of research as far as like fire extinguishers, and I've heard of the clean agents and that was something that was concerning because if it was in a fire that's gonna completely total out the car going back to clean up the extra, and apparently some of them can be corrosive to the paint and clean up is a complete mess. So that's where I came across H3R and figured I'd go ahead and give them a shot.



Teresa:
Yeah, the clean agent is a big draw. Just because, like you said, dry-chemical is corrosive and being able to use an extinguisher and not have to worry about damage from that, in addition to (putting out) the fire is such a bonus, especially when you put in as much work as you have.

Paul:
Oh yeah!

Teresa:
So now getting on to what happened. There was a fire and you used your HalGuard extinguisher. What happened? How did it go?

Paul:
I was actually returning from a car show with a friend and we decided to take some pictures. Down by this dock, that's not too far from my house, and there's two vehicles in front of us. The one in the left lane, lost control, clipped another car, flipped on the side and hit a tree. So without even hesitation, we both stopped to see if we could do anything. It was kind of bad. Luckily the driver was able to pull himself through the sunroof. He was definitely in shock, and while we were helping him, that's when my friend noticed that the engine had begun to catch fire. So I ran back to the car, grabbed the extinguisher, and was able to put it out briefly so we could recover some of his property that was in the vehicle, his wallet, his phone. These days everything's on your phone, so it's kind of important to have.

Teresa:
So I believe when we talked about it you were able to knock the fire back enough to get him out and get his stuff out, and it did reignite, I believe.

Paul:
Yes, I don't think there's a fire extinguisher that's on the market that's for a vehicle that would have put that out. I mean it's a hot exhaust manifold with gas and oil leaking on it. So at that point, it was more of a “See how much damage, not damage, but how much loss we could like prevent versus completely extinguishing the fire.”

Teresa:
So the fuel source was continuing to leak onto that hot manifold.

Paul:
Yes, it was.

Teresa:
OK, yeah, that's a tough one, but sometimes the best you can do is buy yourself time, you know?

Paul:
Oh yeah, definitely. The fire extinguisher definitely provided us with that extra bit of time to get what was important out of the vehicle, and you know it was already a total loss. It flipped over and hit a tree so.

Teresa:
Yeah, well thank you for stopping and helping him. I'm so glad you had your extinguisher with you. Sometimes you hear stories and they don't go that way. So moving on, given your experience and everything you've been through and the fact that you've been working on these builds for a while, other than having an extinguisher, is there any advice you would give somebody? Who wants to get into building out vehicles and is a new enthusiast to the scene?

Paul:
Uh, yeah, definitely do a lot of your own research. It's always great to have people with expert opinions to look at and kind of guide you, but I think a lot of your own research, it helps build that confidence and you're not constantly relying on people. Helps reduce costs too when you're capable of doing your own work.

Definitely get out to local meets, even if it's just a parking lot show. Get out there, network and you never know who you're going to run into, and they could have gone through a similar situation or possibly doing something that you're doing to assist you with information or anything along those lines. Join a forum that's vehicle specific. Those have been basically the backbone for me ever since I got into cars and I still refer to them now. I just so happen to be in a position to where I could help others with information now versus me seeking that information constantly.



Teresa:
The byproduct of getting involved is you kind of build a community a little bit.

Paul:
Oh most definitely. There is, we have a local group of MR2’s, and believe it or not there's about 100 of us, and they're not very common cars and you know that's within a time of about a year and a half and you know it's basically a giant family. People looking for parts, selling parts, assistance with working on each other's vehicles and there's a couple of us that have been around for a little bit longer and have a little bit more knowledge, so a lot of the younger guys that are new into this specific vehicle - they asked for a lot of advice and it's just it's really, really cool to watch them, that excitement and it's like regenerating because they're so excited and you're like, oh, I remember when I was like this and being able to help them out and pay it forward. In a sense.

Teresa:
Oh, that's awesome. I love hearing about that, so what's next for you? Do you have any upcoming events or modifications? Any big mods coming?

Paul:
I've reached my goal for this particular vehicle, so just maintenance, and enjoying driving it. We just did the 25th anniversary Bear Mountain run. Out there in New Jersey, Mahwah, New Jersey. It's a great MR2 event. It's a Toyota’s Toyota MR2 and Celica’s and proceeds go to Cancer Research so we just got done with that. Probably about 2 weeks ago.

Teresa:
What's the name of your group if anybody in your area is interested?

Paul:
We call it the DMV MR2’s. It's not really, we don't have like an official page. It actually started out as a kind of a Facebook people talking, so it is the DMV MR2 page on Facebook and then we have our chat as well. So if they join the page and they're interested in being part of the DMV MR2’s. Just send a message out to contact us, and we’ll get on the chat. It's that easy. There are no strict requirements for anything crazy like that, everybody just seeking information and people are willing to share it.



Teresa:
That's fantastic, well, it's a lot of great advice, so thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us and Share your story and give the advice, have a great weekend since it’s Friday.

Paul:
Yes, I will thank you, you too.

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