A Family of Rats Set this Guy’s Car Ablaze on Rivington; Tony Hawk there to Film it

Posted on: May 2nd, 2017 at 5:00 am by

The New York City rat is ruthless.

If you were at the corner of Essex and Rivington on Friday afternoon, you likely saw a Volkswagen sedan on fire. A plume of smoke billowing into the sky. Yet, this wasn’t any ordinary blaze. Blame the family of rats allegedly nesting in this guy’s engine block.

They were apparently pretty active, having gnawed through the engine wiring, sparking the blaze.

“I drove the car for about 4 miles out from my apartment when I began to smell burnt plastic and road kill,” the car’s owner, Alec Steinfeld, wrote on Facebook after the ordeal. “Then smoke started to pillar. I pulled over and got out of the car. My engine was done within 3 minutes. The fire department arrived shortly after.”

Photo: Alec Steinfeld

Steinfeld went on to say, “When I opened the hood, I found 2 dead baby rats within the ledge. After the fire was put out, a charred mom/dad rat camped out in the rims of my tire. Obviously, the culprit.”

The holdover rats would not leave the tire for about four hours, until antifreeze was sprayed to scare them out.

Rats gnaw through everything; they do it to survive. Their four front incisors never stop growing – about five inches per year – and rely on chewing to grind the teeth down. Otherwise, if too long, they could lock the jaw or pierce the brain.

Every story has a silver lining, though. In this instance, it’s that Tony Hawk was there to capture the whole thing. We were told that Tony Hawk seems to “run into” fires every time he comes to New York City, which explained his gawking at this scene.

“The whole story is so absurd, it’s hard not to enjoy,” Steinfeld concluded.

Only in New York, folks.

Recent Stories

Elizabeth Street Garden will be Bulldozed and Redeveloped by Penrose Development

Now that election season is over, there is finally movement toward the controversial destruction and redevelopment of the Elizabeth Street Garden. The city will apparently announce today that it’s chosen the developer to carry out this task. The Department of Housing Preservation and Development awarded the contract for the seven-story project to Penrose Development. The […]

Do Big Belly Trash Compacting Bins Contribute to Litter Problem?

This photo says it all, really. Namely that those Big Belly receptacles might not actually be working to plan. The multi-thousand-dollar trash bins began appearing across the streets of Chinatown and the Lower East Side earlier this fall, but are they helping or just part of the problem? Despite the best of intentions, an overflowing Big […]

Open 3 Months, ‘Brigitte’ Seeks Basement Club on Ludlow

Of course this would happen. Open nigh on three months, Canal Street bistro Brigitte is already angling to open a basement club. Naturally. Ownership this week submitted a dressed-up application to alter its liquor license to include bar and seats in the cellar. Blueprints show communal table seating to accommodate twenty-four additional patrons, plus a […]

Hill & Dale Partners with ‘Thai Direct Bowls’ on Allen Street

Hill & Dale is now open for takeaway Thai lunch options. The Allen Street watering hole last month struck a partnership with Thai Direct Bowls, a startup that offers “authentic meal kits, healthy lunch bowls and delicious food products.” It’s sub-leasing the space from the golden-age-of-radio-themed bar during daytime hours (until 4pm). Patrons can choose […]

8-Story Commercial Development Planned for Chinatown ‘Diamond Center’ on the Bowery

The Chinatown diamond district is getting cut once again. It wasn’t enough that the Diamond Corner at Hester Street and the Bowery was sacked and replaced with a Bank of America branch. 76 Bowery is coming down, too. And like its neighbor one door to the north, it’ll be redeveloped into an eight-story commercial building. […]