The driver of this Holden Commodore jumped from the burning car in the centre of Coffs Harbour yesterday.
The driver of this Holden Commodore jumped from the burning car in the centre of Coffs Harbour yesterday. BRUCE THOMAS

Lucky escape from car fire

A FEMALE motorist had a lucky escape after the car she was driving caught fire on the Pacific Highway at Park Beach yesterday.

Jackie Skedden was on her way to work about 8.45am when smoke rose from under the bonnet of her Holden Commodore.

“I had just turned onto the highway from Bray Street when the engine backfired and the next thing there was smoke everywhere,” Ms Skedden said.

Pulling over in the nick of time, in the turning lane outside HomeBase, she raced to the front of the borrowed car.

Kevin Tickle, who came across the burning car, jumped from his vehicle and shouted not to open the bonnet.

“There were flames and a lot of smoke, I just yelled ‘don’t pop it’, otherwise I think the whole car could have gone up,” Mr Tickle said.

The flustered driver managed to remove a suitcase and other belongings from the vehicle, as fire crews raced to the scene.

“The big concern was that the car was fitted with an LPG tank as well as fuel and when we arrived on scene the engine bay was well alight,” Coffs Harbour Fire Station commander Mark Rose said.

“We managed to stop the flames spreading, but we’re still trying to establish how it started.

“Occasionally we get called to these types of motor vehicle fires, usually they are sparked by mechanical failure or by gas or fuel leaks,” he said.

Ms Skedden, who has just returned to Coffs Harbour from New Zealand, could only watch as the vehicle was all but destroyed.



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