A car fire that blocked State Highway 1 on Wednesday afternoon was put out just in time, says a resident who watched the incident unfold.
At 2.20pm a car travelling north on SH1 caught alight near Airlie Rd at Pukerua Bay, north of Porirua.
It blocked both lanes of the motorway for about 15 minutes while emergency services responded to the fire.
Pukerua Bay resident Samuel Havill said they were lucky the fire brigade was local and could respond as quickly as it did.
"They got it out fast because the car was in a bad area.
"If they'd left if for too long, Pukerua Bay would have gone alight because it was right in the bush."
"Everyone was quite happy they got there in time, because they'd rather one car than the whole township.
"They got there as the start of the bush had started a little bit, so any later the bush would have just gone up. And Pukerua Bay is mostly bush so that would have been really bad."
Havill lives in a property across from the scene and heard a loud bang while watching a movie on Wednesday afternoon.
"I was thinking someone was out with their firearm, just going for a hunt," he said.
"Then I went outside to find there was smoke coming from my front driveway."
He said the particular stretch of road on SH1 was a crash area - "probably two or three a year".
The fire had started while the car was being towed by another vehicle, and he said all occupants were out by the time he got there.
"Everyone had to just stand back and watch it go, because at that point they had petrol in the boot," he said.
"Basically as soon as I got there it went for it and just blew up in fire. No one wanted to go near it."
A police spokesperson confirmed the car caught on fire while being towed, and that there had been no reports of injury.