• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
3m 16s

Great Alaska adventure: Man doesn’t let car fire slow him down

By Bonney Bowman 8:13 PM September 2, 2016

When life gets tough a good attitude can help you through it. One man, new to Alaska, is having a really tough time – but it’s not getting him down.

Peter Schutt bought a car off Craigslist the same day he arrived in Alaska, which was Aug. 27. He only drove it a short distance before realizing something was wrong.

“I could smell smoke coming out from under the hood, so I went ahead and stopped and lifted the hood a little bit and saw fire so I shut it right away so no oxygen could get to it,” said Schutt.

For him, this car was more than just a way to get around.

“I was going to sleep in it until I got my disability check,” he said. “I’m out of money and homeless.”

Most people would be angry and upset to watch their car, which is also their home, go up in flames. Not Schutt. He’s always wanted to live in Alaska and now he’s here.

“Coming up here to retire on my last great adventure after fulfilling a life-long dream,” he said. That dream was getting a college education.

“I was hoping to do some good fishing and put my college degree to work because I just graduated from Portland State with a bachelors in science and social science,” said Schutt.

He wanted back the money he spent on the car, but the seller says he warned Schutt not to drive it. He says he recommended Schutt tow it to a place he could fix the very leaky transmission. Schutt says he got no such warning, but says the seller told him the transmission slipped. Either way, his money is gone and he’s faced with sleeping in a shelter.

Despite this string of bad luck, Schutt isn’t giving up. While heading to the shelter, he passed a paving site and stopped to speak to the owner.

“I’m going to be without funds, can I work today?” Schutt says he asked. “He heard the story and he said ‘absolutely.’ And here I am getting ready to pave the asphalt.”

Schutt is not stranger to hard work.

“I went to work at 13 picking stuff in the fields and I’ve worked my entire life for my family. That’s why my dad told me, ‘Peter get the hell out of here. Go live your dream.'”

Schutt took his dad’s advice because he might be running out of time. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis two years ago.

“I’m not going to worry about it. It’s all good today. I’m working and I’ve got a bed to sleep in,” he said. Schutt doesn’t know where he’ll be in a year, but he says m aybe he’ll put that hard-earned college degree to work.

“I think I have a lot to offer people and one of that is how to overcome adversity and move on with your life,” he said.

KTVA checked back in with Schutt one week after the car fire. He said he got his social security check and was able to find a room to rent, so he’s out of the shelter.

He’s still saving up to buy another car. He laughed when he said hopefully, this one won’t got up in flames. If you would like to be a part of KTVA’s Problem Solvers and help Schutt get a new vehicle, click here to visit the GoFundMe account set up for him.

Do you know someone with a story like Peter Schutt’s? Let us know by emailing KTVA’s Problem Solvers.

KTVA 11′s Bonney Bowman can be reached via email or on Facebook and Twitter.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Stubbs, Talkeetna’s honorary cat mayor, dies

    by Chris Klint on Jul 22, 22:25

    Stubbs, Talkeetna’s honorary cat mayor beloved by Alaskans and tourists alike, has died at the age of 20 according to the animal’s owners. Stubbs’ death was announced late Saturday in a statement from the Spone family, which purchased Nagley’s General Store and the West Rib Pub and Grill in 2015. Part of the contract, the […]

  • New White House communications director deletes old tweets contradicting Trump

    by CBS/AP on Jul 22, 19:55

    A day after accepting a top White House job, President Trump’s new communications director announced Saturday that he’s deleting old tweets that were critical of his new boss, saying his own views have evolved and that what he said in the past shouldn’t be a distraction. Full transparency: I'm deleting old tweets. Past views evolved […]

  • News

    Car-motorcycle crash hurts 2, closes Old Seward Highway south of Dowling Road

    by Chris Klint on Jul 22, 19:05

    The Old Seward Highway was closed Saturday night south of Dowling Road in both directions by a car-motorcycle collision that injured two people. Alaska road-conditions website 511.alaska.gov first mentioned the wreck at Old Seward near 69th Avenue shortly after 6 p.m. Anchorage police Sgt. Dawn Neer, at the scene, said a motorcycle had been headed […]

  • News

    Efforts continue to save Anchorage’s 4th Avenue Theatre

    by Dave Leval on Jul 22, 17:38

    There’s no denying Sandy Harper loves the 4th Avenue Theatre. “The theater has been here longer than I have,” said Harper, who has called Anchorage home for 30 years. The building has been part of the downtown Anchorage skyline for more than twice that, a span of 70 years. “I don’t think there’s anything like […]

  • Dozens hospitalized for excessive drinking at Chance The Rapper concert

    by CBS/AP on Jul 22, 17:28

    HARTFORD, Conn. — More than 90 people were hospitalized Friday during a concert featuring Chance the Rapper in Connecticut, officials said. A large number of people hospitalized were underage attendees experiencing “severe intoxication,” Hartford Deputy Chief Brian Foley said Saturday. Foley said officers made 50 underage drinking referrals Friday at Hot 93.7′s Hot Jam concert at Xfinity Theatre. […]

  • News

    Coast Guard: Kodiak missile test could occur as early as next week

    by Associated Press on Jul 22, 14:15

    KODIAK, Alaska (AP) – The U.S. Coast Guard says a launch from the Kodiak Island rocket launch complex in Alaska will occur as soon as next week. The Kodiak Daily Mirror reports a U.S. Coast Guard notice released Wednesday states the launch is scheduled to occur at the Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska between 7 p.m. on […]

  • Son charged in death of father whose body was left on couch for weeks

    by CBS/AP on Jul 22, 14:12

    FRACKVILLE, Pa. — A man has been charged with killing his father, who authorities say was shot to death and his body then left on a couch in his home for weeks. Tyler Swantek, 24, faces charges in Schuylkill County including criminal homicide, first- and third-degree murder, aggravated assault and abuse of a corpse in the […]

  • News

    Search suspended for man overboard from skiff in Prince William Sound

    by Chris Klint on Jul 22, 13:21

    The U.S. Coast Guard spent much of Friday looking for a man who fell overboard from a skiff on the west side of Prince William Sound, but was unable to locate any sign of him. Coast Guard Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios said that the man went overboard at about 2 a.m. Friday from a commercial […]