According to PIX11, Alec Steinfeld left his VW sitting for a week near his place in Brooklyn. Not an uncommon thing in New York, where the public transit is good and the traffic is terrible. Finally, he hopped in the car to drive into Manhattan and almost immediately noticed something was wrong.
"When I started driving initially, I smelled roadkill," Steinfeld told PIX11.
That didn't stop him, though, and despite the smell he made for Manhattan. By the time he got to the Lower East Side, Steinfeld was faced with a serious problem – an engine fire.
"It seemed like my engine was overheating, and then all of a sudden it started catching fire," he said. "I tried to open up my hood, and there were two baby dead rats on the ledge, so there was a lot of confusion."
Apparently, while the VW was parked, an army of rats moved in and chewed up so many hoses and wires under the hood that they caused a fire. Also, if the "it smelled like roadkill" thing is anything to go by, at least one rat got chewed up in his serpentine belt and/or roasted on the engine. Gross.
Steinfeld quickly called 911, but by the time the New York Fire Department arrived, the front end of the car was engulfed in flame. As he stood there watching his wheels burn to the ground, Steinfeld noticed that one of the bystanders filming the scene was pro-skater and all-around cool dude Tony Hawk. He got the whole thing on video and immediately posted it to his Instagram account. Steinfeld grabbed a selfie with Hawk, which, along with the story and brief instant of fame, is at least some consolation for the poor guy.