May 19 2013 Latest news:
Kate Ferguson, Reporter
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
A brave man has been hailed a hero after he pulled a pensioner from a flaming car in Highgate this afternoon (July, 10).
A 72 year-old woman is thought to have been reversing out of a car park in Highgate Hill during the busy school run when her engine began to spark.
A quick-thinking passer-by, who has not been named, spotted the dangerous sparks, ran over to the Volvo Saloon and pulled the woman out.
Just a minute later the car exploded into flames creating a flaming fireball.
Mark Moody, a journalist, had just picked up his eight year-old daughter from nearby St Michael’s Primary School when he saw the dramatic explosion.
He said: “As we travelled over the brow of the hill we saw a small amount of smoke. Within ten seconds it was completely black.
“Moments later the car burst into flames. Everybody ran in all directions away from the car. Black smoke filled the sky.
“It was really weird because the underneath of the car was completely on fire. Then it exploded and literally leapt off the ground. There were sparks everywhere and stank of burning rubber.”
He added: “It was pretty scary.
“There were dozens of people who had gathered outside to see it, we were all concerned the driver was OK.”
Firefighters arrived at around 3.50pm and spent 45 minutes tackling the ferocious flames.
Crew manager Kentish town fire station William Larter said: “She was quite lucky that people spotted it. It could have been a lot worse.
“She was shaken.”
Annabel Morgan tweeted from the scene: “Just witnessed true act of heroism - man dragging elderly lady from burning car on Highgate Hill.”
The pensioner was not injured in the blaze.
The cause of the fire is under investigation but is believed to originated in an electrical fault.