Driver flees Landrover inferno

By Nathan Crombie nathan.crombie@age.co.nz -
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Flames destroy the cab of a Landrover after the driver parked at the roadside on Ngaumutawa Rd in Masterton yesterday morning to escape the blaze. PHOTO/BRIAN ARMSTRONG
Flames destroy the cab of a Landrover after the driver parked at the roadside on Ngaumutawa Rd in Masterton yesterday morning to escape the blaze. PHOTO/BRIAN ARMSTRONG

A DRIVER escaped unharmed from his Landrover moments before the vehicle was engulfed in fire at a roadside in Masterton yesterday morning.

Masterton Fire Service station officer Doug Flowerday said the blaze had erupted under the dash of the Landrover about 9.15am yesterday.

He said the male driver had been the lone occupant in the vehicle, which was fitted with a rear deck agricultural spraying unit.

The middle-aged man had escaped the vehicle without injury after pulling over to the shoulder on Ngaumutawa Rd, with a crowd of passersby stopping to watch as the fire worsened.

"Nobody was hurt and the vehicle was well-involved when we arrived. But it didn't take much to extinguish using breathing gear and a hose reel," Mr Flowerday said.

"The cause appears to be electrical. The driver says he was heading to work when smoke started coming from underneath the dash."

The Landrover was fitted with a vegetation spraying unit that was "luckily" empty, Mr Flowerday said, otherwise the blaze would have also involved hazardous substances.

Mr Flowerday said the single fire crew had kept the flames from the spraying unit and the engine but the cab of the vehicle had been destroyed in the fire.

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