A WOMAN fled her burning car moments before it burst into a fireball in the Port of Echuca yesterday morning.
The owner of Sweet Meadow Echuca Aisha Besim was on her way to work when she noticed a burning smell coming from her car at the roundabout at McDonalds Echuca.
She had driven from Kyabram before a suspected mechanical fault caused a fire to start inside her car.
She managed to drive a further 500m along High St before smoke suddenly filled her car and she was forced to pull over outside Murray River Gifts in the port and get out as fast as she could.
Two fire engines and police responded to the incident at 8.15am to find the parked vehicle engulfed in flames and worked quickly to contain the fire which threatened a nearby vehicle and shops.
The fire appeared to be controlled until the petrol tank suddenly burst into flames, creating a more dangerous scenario for the firefighters.
Fourth Lieutenant David Stephens said the fire likely started in the car before impacting on the fuel tank.
“A normal car fire is usually extinguished fairly quickly,” Lt Stephens said. “Once it took hold in the fuel tank we had to control the spread of fuel as well as extinguishing the fire which makes it a more technical operation.”
Lieutenant Stephens said the fuel tank was probably plastic which allowed the fire to get inside and fuel to escape from the hoses.
Traffic was diverted along High St between Leslie St and Warren St before the destroyed car was towed away.
The shaken owner of the car said she was happy no other property was damaged or person was injured.
She said her insurance company would be trying to determine the cause of the fire.
On Saturday Echuca’s fire brigade was at another fire — this time oily rags in a dryer caught fire in a Pakenham St shop.
Three units attended the fire and quickly controlled it before it spread.
The shop’s new owners have only been in the business a short while and watched from the street as the fire was controlled.