Car bursts into flames near petrol bowsers

By SAM BENGER

MOTORISTS and bystanders escaped unharmed after a car burst into flames only metres from petrol bowsers at a Mount Larcom service station on Sunday.

Bobbie Anderson, owner of Travel- ler's Rest Choice Petroleum service sta- tion on the Bruce Highway, said it was a "very scary'' experience when the car caught alight about 11.30am on Sunday.

"The driver realised something was wrong and pulled up out the front (of the service station), and when he lifted the bonnet the flames blew up and we used two fire extinguishers on it but still couldn't put it out,'' she said.

Ms Anderson said the family travel- ling in the vehicle was able to retrieve most of its belongings before the fire took hold, but the car was completely destroyed.

"It could've been a real risk if the wind had changed, or if it had been a gas car it could've blown, but it burnt quite slowly and the firies came and put it out,'' she said.

Ms Anderson said it was the first fire the petrol station had experienced, and she hoped it was the last.

Mount Larcom advanced care para- medic Ken Rudge said he was the first emergency service vehicle onsite, but did not approach the vehicle for fear it would explode.

"There were flames all around the ve- hicle when I arrived and it was about 30 feet from the LPG bowsers and an equal distance to the highway, so I shut the road down and someone else at the oth- er end had the sense to shut traffic down there... there was a lot of smoke going towards the LPG bowser and a lot of potential for something to happen, but we got the people out of the way and the fire brigade arrived from Gladstone and put it out,'' he said.

Mr Rudge said several small explo- sions could be heard as the fire crew used a high-pressure hose to extinguish the flames.

The highway was closed for about 50 minutes, and the petrol station was able to re-open about 1pm on Sunday.



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