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Warning following LPG car fire

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The Service was alerted to the incident at 7pm by the driver of the LPG-fuelled car who was travelling from the Belmont roundabout along the A49 Ross road when his vehicle lost power and smoke started coming from the bonnet.

Two crews from Hereford fire station were initially dispatched to the incident but confirming the extent of the fire and the involvement of LPG, a third appliance, also from Hereford, was also sent to the scene.

Watch Commander Boris Borkowski from HWFRS said: “Car fires involving LPG fuel have the potential to be very serious, with a very real risk of explosion, and so the initial response was critical.”

He explained that crews set up a 125-metre cordon along the road in both directions and that with the assistance of the police, local residents were advised to stay at the back of their properties and well away from windows until advised the incident was under control. Firefighters then set up water monitors (remote water sprays) either side of the burning car and observed the fire from a safe distance until the flames died down. The car was then soaked in water for 30 minutes from long range, and then firefighters moved in closer, using hose reels from a fire appliance and thermal imaging equipment to fully extinguish the blaze.

The car was destroyed as a result of the fire but no one was injured.

WC Borowski thanked local residents for their patience and understanding during the incident, adding: “From a distance, this would have looked like an ordinary car fire but there was a risk throughout that one of the four LPG tanks fitted to the vehicle could explode and so the precautions we took were necessary for both firefighter and public safety.”

He urged anyone reporting a car fire to make sure they specify the type of fuel involved, if known, as this will make a difference to the initial response taken by fire crews. He also reminded people to stay well away from a car on fire as fires involving LPG in particular do have the potential to become serious very rapidly.