• 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
ANCHORAGE –

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

    1 dead in head-on Glenn Highway collision

    by KTVA Web Staff on May 28, 15:59

    The Anchorage Police Department’s Traffic Unit is trying to determine what caused an SUV to lose control and cause a fatal crash Saturday. About 15 minutes after midnight Saturday morning, APD says a Chevy Suburban inbound on the Glenn Highway lost control, crossed the center median and struck a Ford Focus head-on. The driver of […]

  • News

    Pedestrian struck, killed on Gambell

    by KTVA Web Staff on May 28, 15:54

    Anchorage Police are investigating a fatal crash involving a pedestrian. Just before 3 a.m. Saturday, a late model Chevy Malibu traveling southbound on Gambell Street struck a pedestrian. Police say the pedestrian, who has not yet been identified, was in the roadway outside of a crosswalk when he was hit. The man was taken to […]

  • Politics

    On first day back, Trump lashes out at ‘fake news media’

    by CBS News on May 28, 14:44

    WASHINGTON — Hours after returning from his first trip abroad as president, President Trump tweeted Sunday morning about “fake news media” and White House leaks. “It is my opinion that many of the leaks coming out of the White House are fabricated lies made up by the #FakeNews media,” Mr. Trump said in a series […]

  • News

    US official mulling greatly expanding airplane laptop ban

    by Associated Press on May 28, 11:30

    WASHINGTON (AP) – Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly says he’s considering banning laptops from the passenger cabins of all international flights to and from the United States. That would dramatically expand a ban announced in March that affects about 50 flights per day from 10 cities, mostly in the Middle East. The current ban was […]

  • News

    Feds: Man jumps from plane after trying to bite attendant

    by Associated Press on May 28, 11:27

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A 22-year-old man jumped out of an airplane waiting to take off in North Carolina and had to be stopped from running onto the runway. A federal air marshal said in a sworn statement that 22-year-old Tun Sein was flying from Charlotte to New Bern on Thursday when he stood after […]

  • Lifestyle

    ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ tops box office, ‘Baywatch’ sinks

    by Associated Press on May 28, 10:54

    LOS ANGELES (AP) – It was smooth sailing to the top spot at the box office for “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” but the waters were choppier for the Dwayne Johnson comedy “Baywatch.” Studio estimates on Sunday say the fifth installment of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise commandeered $62.2 million […]

  • News

    Crash temporarily shuts down Seward Hwy overnight

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 27, 23:37

    Last updated at 6:15 a.m. on Sunday, May 28 The Seward Highway was completely closed in both directions for about five hours overnight following a crash at mile 76 near Portage Glacier Road. The crash occurred sometime just before 11 p.m. and the road finally reopened to traffic around 4 a.m. Whittier police were first […]

  • News

    Jet owned by Elvis sold for $430,000 at auction

    by Associated Press on May 27, 19:09

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – A private jet once owned by Elvis Presley has been auctioned after sitting on a runway in New Mexico for 35 years. GWS Auctions Inc. says the plane sold for $430,000 on Saturday at a California event featuring celebrity memorabilia. The auction house says Elvis designed the interior that has gold-tone […]