In the predawn darkness and fall chill on Wednesday, J.C. Penney operations supervisor Keith Felps heard an unusual sound as he prepared to open up the store.

A car horn was sounding nearby, out of sight around the edge of the building. Felps rounded the corner and saw a parked car on fire.

“It was in major flames — just a total fireball, but there was nobody around,” Felps said later that day during a phone interview.

As he was about to call the authorities, firefighters arrived.

“It was an inferno,” Felps said. “They jumped out and started to do their thing and put the fire out.”

The fire was extinguished, and the burned husk of the vehicle was towed away within an hour — but not before he was able to snap some photos with his phone camera, Felps indicated. When he told a firefighter he wasn’t the car’s owner, there was a moment of dismay as they realized someone could have been in the car. But after the smoke cleared, the firefighters searched the vehicle and found no human remains.

According to city of Kerrville spokesman Stuart Cunyus, the fire department received a report of the fire at 5:49 a.m. and arrived at 5:52 a.m. to find “the passenger side” of the car “fully engulfed in fire.”

“No injuries occurred,” Cunyus said in an email. “At this time, the cause of the fire is being reported as ‘accidental circumstances.’”

Cunyus provided no further details.

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