Allison is a digital reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times

Builders raise alarm as mystery fire destroys car

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It was not a good start to the weekend for the owner of a car that went up in flames yesterday afternoon in Otumoetai.

The owner of the vehicle was inside his home on Grange Rd when he heard a "bit of a bang" and the builders working on his house ran in yelling his car was on fire.

He ran out to find his car fully ablaze.

The Bay of Plenty Times Weekend caught up with him at the scene of the fire, looking on as fire fighters worked on putting out the fire - white foam a couple of centimetres deep surrounding what remained of his vehicle.

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"The flames were quite big, spitting out the side of the car," he said.

"I sprinted upstairs to call 111 and then moved all the other cars away and made sure all the neighbours were safe," he said.

"It took quite a bit for the fire crew to put it out.

"It would look like it was out but then all of a sudden flames would come out from the back tyres."

The young man had just bought a new car and was relieved the car destroyed was his old car, which was up on TradeMe to be sold.

"My first thought when I saw the fire was 'thank God it's that car'."

The car was not insured and he had just recently paid for a bit of maintenance in preparation for its sale.

"I have no idea what happened, but I think the fire guys have narrowed it down to the boot. I had an unopened present in there, I guess I won't know what it was now," he said.

A neighbour, whose fence the car was parked up alongside, said there was "6-7 feet high of solid flame".

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He had run out to the fire, concerned about the gas tanks he had sitting just on the other side of the fence.

Senior Station Officer Mania Durham said they were investigating the cause of the fire but it appeared to have started at the back of the car where the fuel tank and mag wheels were.

The crew laid quite a bit of foam because the mag wheels were very flammable.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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