9:00pm Thursday 10th May 2012
A DRIVER escaped from his car seconds before it burst into flames.
Firefighters were called to Halstead Road, Colchester, in response to reports of explosions which looked like like fireworks going off and smoke billowing across the A12.
Eyewitnesses said smoke had started coming from the bonnet of the car, just before the driver stopped and jumped out just after 8.30pm on Tuesday.
Moments later, it was engulfed in fire.
One man, who called the fire service after seeing the car on fire, said: “I was working on my motorcycle in my garden and looked over my shoulder and saw a bit of smoke.
“I stood up and then saw flames from the car. I was first to call the fire brigade. I hope the driver got out.”
Another resident in nearby Peace Road, saw the fire from his home.
He said: “At about 8.40pm I thought I heard fireworks, but it turns out it was things exploding in the car.
“Lots of people were out there already watching and trying to help.
“At first, we thought it was a stolen car, but now we believe the driver saw smoke from the bonnet and got out quickly.
“It is surprising how quickly the whole car was alight and how long it lasted.
“It was on the road, so the firefighters must have moved it on to the grass verge.”
An Essex Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “We sent one crew from Colchester. Using breathing apparatus and hose reel jets they were able to put out the fire at 8.57pm.”
The burned-out remnants of the vehicle were still on the verge between Halstead Road and the A12 yesterday.
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