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He Was Set to Sell His DeLorean for $70K. Then, a Suspicious Fire

Company alleges arson destroyed rare 1981 car owned by 22-year-old Daryl Kemsley
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2018 11:00 AM CST
Tale of Bizarre DeLorean Fire Ignites Suspicion
The 1981 DeLorean burns in Orem, Utah.   (Orem Police Department)

Where there's smoke, there's usually fire—a phrase that may apply doubly to a strange story out of Utah. Daryl Kemsley, a 22-year-old YouTuber and car aficionado, tells Fox 13 that his dream car, a 1981 DeLorean driven just 8,100 miles, began to smoke after it was rear-ended in a hit-and-run in Orem on Friday, after Kemsley had decided to sell it for $70,000. Kemsley says he pulled into a Rite Aid parking lot and watched as the car—one of about 9,000 made between 1981 and 1982—caught flame. The vehicle was eventually destroyed, but Kemsley says he could've saved it—and perhaps avoided minor burns—if a Rite Aid employee hadn't impeded him. According to Kemsley, a female employee refused to let him borrow the store's fire extinguisher, claiming it was company property, and declined to use it herself, saying she didn't know how.

"I stood there in front of her for minutes begging and pleading … all while the flames got bigger," Kemsley writes in a Facebook post. A since-removed comment on the same post points to a different story, per Jalopnik. "I'm the girl who handed you the Rite Aid fire extinguisher, which you refused," it reads. "Why are you lying about this story?" DeLorean Performance Industries has a theory. It says Kemsley had falsely claimed the company fully restored the car "to get a premium in the sale," and "he decided to [destroy-torch] the car in an attempt to collect his assured value." The Orem Police Department's own Facebook post about the fire adds to the suspicion. "We can all speculate as to why this happened this weekend … #youbethejudge," it reads. Kemsley denies wrongdoing, telling Jalopnik that the Facebook commenter "stole" the extinguisher and arrived at the fire too late. (More cars stories.)

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