Nation & World

He watched his dream car burn outside of a Rite Aid. Employees wouldn’t help save it

Screenshot of a burning DeLorean in a Rite Aid parking lot in Orem, Utah.
Screenshot of a burning DeLorean in a Rite Aid parking lot in Orem, Utah.

A Utah man who had spent thousands of dollars restoring a vintage DeLorean he’d dreamed of owning since childhood watched the rare car burn in a parking lot Friday.

Daryl Kemsley pulled his DeLorean into a Rite Aid parking lot in Orem, Utah, after a minor accident caused the vehicle to start smoking, Fox 13 News reported.

Rite Aid employees did have a fire extinguisher – but they wouldn’t let Kemsley borrow it, nor would they use it themselves, with one employee saying she didn’t know how.

“I know legally they don’t have to help me, but it just baffles me that they don’t know how to use a fire extinguisher,” Kemsley told Fox 13.

The car was totaled by the fire, and Kemsley received minor burns from the incident before firefighters arrived to put out the blaze, according to Fox 13. The DeLorean, with fewer than 10,000 miles on it, was a dream car of for Kemsley, but he also had hoped to sell it for a profit, he said.

Iconic for its appearance as a time machine in the acclaimed “Back to the Future” trilogy (1985-1990), the DeLorean has been a pop-culture staple for decades, even though the DMC-12 – DeLorean’s only model produced – hasn’t been made since 1982.

The DeLorean was rear-ended in the accident, but it is unknown why this caused a fire, KUTV reported.

Kemsley posted photos of the incident to his public Instagram page, which includes stylistic shots of his DeLorean and other cars.

“I stood there in front of her for minutes begging and pleading her to borrow the fire extinguisher, all while the flames got bigger,” Kemsley wrote in the photo’s caption.

The caption also claims Kemsley planned to sell the car for $70,000 later that same day.

DeLorean built 9,000 of the vehicles between 1981-82, with an estimated 6,500 of them still street-legal and functioning as of 2007, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The planned production of brand-new, replica DMC-12s, which would sell for between $50,000 and $100,000, was announced in 2016 for the following year. However, production has been delayed due to the 2015 Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act, which has left DeLorean awaiting further word from the Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration before the company can manufacture, according to Autoblog.

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