A SMOULDERING wreck was all that remained of Paul Sulis’s much loved ute early this morning.
The late model Holden Commodore Storm erupted into flames that quickly engulfed the front half of the car.
Mr Sulis said he was driving along the Princes Hwy near the Kingswood turn when he first noticed the car behaving oddly.
“I was driving down the road past the Kingswood turnoff there and it had a faint smell of fuel,” Mr Sulis said.
“The car started to misfire a little bit, so I thought I’d pull up and have a look.”
Mr Sulis said he could see an orange glow in the bonnet scoop of the car and instantly knew there was a fire.
“I could see it was on fire near the brake booster,” Mr Sulis said.
“So I popped the bonnet and tried to put it out with a rag.
“Then the rag caught fire, but I nearly had it out,” he said.
Mr Sulis said a cyclist had stopped to assist him and together they moved the car further from the road.
“He was riding his push bike down here, so he assisted me to push it further off the road.
“When we pushed it, just as I was getting back out of the car, it erupted into flames,” Mr Sulis said.
Mr Sulis said the fire took hold extremely quickly and there was nothing that could be done to save his vehicle.
“I was just getting out when it erupted,” Mr Sulis said.
“Once it went up, there was no going back, it just went.”
Mr Sulis phoned the fire brigade and the police, but said it was already too late.
He said from the time he noticed the smell of fuel to the car resting as a burning wreck took no more than a few minutes.
“A couple of passers-by pulled up with fire extinguishers,” Mr Sulis said.
“But I told them not to waste their time.”
The fire brigade and police attended the scene and doused the car with a chemical extinguisher to prevent any more flare-ups.
Mr Sulis said he was very thankful to the emergency services and people who had stopped to help him.
“I’d really like to thank the fire brigade, police and everyone who helped out,” he said.
“And for all the moral support, too.”
Mr Sulis said he was devastated about losing his car, but offered a warning to fellow drivers if they find themselves in a similar situation.
“It was my pride and joy.
“But if your car ever catches fire just get out, because mine nearly got me,” he said.