After a driver pulled his yellow cab to the curb on Cadman Plaza West near Middagh St. around 2:30 p.m. Thursday, the car burst into roaring flames and burned within minutes.

Firefighters from Engine Co. 205 and Ladder Co. 118 – one block away on Middagh Street – responded rapidly, soaking the car and sending clouds of thick smoke into the air. The taxi was left a blackened, incinerated shell, with its seats burnt away and only half of a melted steering wheel remaining.

The taxi’s driver, Mr. Alvi, told the Brooklyn Eagle that he was driving two passengers, a man and a woman, over the Brooklyn Bridge when he noticed smoke coming from the hood. “It was just a little smoke,” he said. “I pulled over and told the passengers to get out. When I opened the hood, I saw it was on fire so I called 911.” The fire quickly engulfed the cab, a Ford Crown Victoria.

The passengers “jumped out and ran away,” he said.

Alvi was thankful that he ended up so close to a fire department. “The firemen told me, ‘You are very lucky.’”

Alvi said he started his shift at 6 a.m., had experienced no trouble with the car all day, and had about a half a tank of gas left. “The taxi is owned by the company,” he said, adding that the evening driver would be expecting to take it out for the night shift.

Photo by Ryan Thompson/Brooklyn Eagle. Story by Mary Frost/Brooklyn Eagle. Web site www.brooklyneagle.com.

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