Jerome Sampson had been driving his Buick Regal for about 13 years when his luck ran out.
While he was in the drive-through of the Burger King on Pio Nono Avenue about 9:30 a.m. Friday, he encountered a whopper of a problem.
Smoke started coming from the engine and when he lifted the hood, flames shot up into the air.
It happened pretty fast, said Donald Hunt, who was weed-eating the grass on the middle island of the parking lot.
He noticed Sampson trying to crank the car, which was already smoking, Hunt said.
When he lifted that hood up, it just engulfed, I guess, when the oxygen hit it, he said. The flames shot up a good 7 feet, up above the hood.
The restaurant manager brought out a fire extinguisher but it was too late, he said.
It was uncontrollable. There was nothing you could do, Hunt said.
The car was stopped at the pick-up window and fire started eating away at the awning and caught the wall of the building on fire.
Smoke filled the restaurant pretty quickly and started spewing out the front and sides of the fast-food joint at 3025 Pio Nono Ave., about a block south of Eisenhower Parkway.
About two dozen people evacuated the building and were standing outside as fire crews tackled the flames, Hunt said.
Macon police closed Pio Nono at Rice Mill and Canterbury roads to allow fire trucks access to the burning building. By 10 a.m. most of the flames were out, but the building was still smoking, Hunt said.