An elderly woman had a lucky escape yesterday afternoon when her car went up in flames, thanks to a passer by who got her away just in time.
Russell Osmand was driving towards Beaumont from Bel Royal at about 4 pm when he spotted smoke coming from the front of her car on the other side of the road and got her to safety - seconds later the car was fully ablaze and the windows were blown out.
Mr Osmand, a car dealer, said: "I knew immediately we were looking at a car fire but I couldn't see anybody and I was worried that there was somebody inside the car.
"As soon as I noticed it was a Vauxhall Zafira I knew immediately to pull over and get over to the car where the lady was looking in her boot from outside. Immediately I asked her to move to 30 metres away from the car because I knew what would eventually happen. Within 30 seconds the car was ablaze and within three minutes the car windows were blowing out across the road."
He said: "The lady I'm sure would have been fine and would have moved away, but perhaps not as quickly as would have been required. I don't believe she was in immediate danger but felt it my duty to pull over and ask her to move away.
"There was quite a pungent smell of burning rubber and plastic."
Mr Osmand and the lady stopped the traffic from passing while they waited for firefighters to arrive and put out the fire.
He said: "The Fire Service arrived and put the car out very, very quickly, it was scorched and it looked awful. The worst thing that happened is that me and the lady got a bit wet diverting the traffic. She seemed alright though, it all happened so quickly but she was very thankful."
Mr Osmand, who runs Bespoke Auto Services, is urging anyone who owns a Vauxhall Zafira, that have been widely reported as having faults, to get in touch with the dealer to find out which model is affected before there's a more serious accident on the roads.
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