VIDEO: Car fire witness tells of ferocious blaze near Lancaster University

A Lancaster mum has described the moment she thought a blue BMW was going to explode as it went up in flames near the entrance to Lancaster University.

Wednesday, 18th May 2016, 2:49 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 5:16 pm

Liz Shotter was driving home with her 19-year-old son on Preston Lancaster Road, on the A6, when she noticed the traffic was “unusually” heavy for that time of day.

As she approached Lancaster University, near to Hazelrigg Lane, Liz noticed a BMW on fire at the side of road.

Her immediate concern was for young people who were standing “very close” to the fire before emergency services arrived at 1pm on Wednesday May 18.

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She said: “The traffic was backed up and I was wondering what was going on, then I saw the car pulling in, in front of the bus.

“There were people, I think students, they looked like my son’s age, just standing right by it as it went up in flames, it was really frightening.

“At one point I seriously thought it might blow up, it was really ferocious.

“It looked like it was going to get completely out of control.”

Eye-witnesses said the flames reached 12 feet high, spread onto the pavement and nearly set fire to nearby trees on the campus before emergency services arrived.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue sent out 15 firefighters to tackle the blaze. Using a hosereel jet crews extinguished the fire, making sure the contaminated water did not spread to nearby drains.

Police directed traffic at the scene as the road remained partly closed. It is not yet known how the fire started in the BMW.

A Lancashire Fire and Rescue spokesman said: “We don’t know how the fire started at this time but it may have been a mechanical fault. It was a very sizeable fire and our crews tacked it quickly.”

No injuries were reported.

Video by Liz Shotter.