Gallery: Dramatic photos showing the moment a carers car burst into flames beneath him
A CARER was forced to abandon his car and run after flames were spotted coming from underneath his vehicle.
Leeowen Barnes was driving to a garage in Landseer Road after a strong smell of petrol filled his red Volkswagen Golf, when he pulled over in Belle Vue Road, Ipswich.
Just moments later has car was engulfed by flames, with plumes of thick black smoke billowing out.
“I knew something was wrong and that’s why I was trying to get to the garage,” the 32-year-old said. “When I got out of the car in Belle Vue Road I knew it wasn’t good because I could smell so much petrol.
“A gentlemen was walking past me and he noticed there were flames coming from under the car.
“It was at that point that me and the man ran out of the way and when we turned around there was suddenly massive flames and so much smoke. “
Firefighters from Princes Street fire station scrambled to the scene at 3.20pm yesterday.
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Mr Barnes, who lives in Northhill Walk and works as a carer in the daytime and as security at a nightclub after dark, thanked residents in Belle Vue Road for being kind and concerned in the hours following the blaze.
He said: “Everyone was just so nice. They were offering me drinks and checking I was OK.
“I was OK but I was shaken up by what had happened.
“To be honest, I’m just really happy that the disabled man who had been in my car before who I was caring for, wasn’t in it at the time of the fire because I just don’t know whether I would have been able to get him and his wheelchair out of the car in time.”
Police were informed of the incident because it was blocking the road and the flames had caused part of the car to melt into the road surface.
A spokesman for the fire brigade said they believed the cause of the fire was an accidental engine malfunction. The fire were under control by 3.40pm.
The drama was captured by neighbour David Voller who grabbed his camera as soon as he became aware of the drama unfolding on his doorstep.
“I had just woken from my afternoon cat nap and I happened to look out of my window,” he said. “It was then that I saw a massive flame and lots of smoke. My camera is never too far away from me.”