Don't miss a story sign up to Sidmouth Herald's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Trapped inside a burning car

PUBLISHED: 15:22 17 May 2013 | UPDATED: 15:30 17 May 2013

[insert caption] Picture courtesy of James Matthews.

[insert caption] Picture courtesy of James Matthews.

Archant

A YOUNG driver feels lucky to be alive after a car she had owned for less than a day suddenly burst into a fireball in Sidmouth – trapping her inside as it burned.

Panicking Lauren Zajac, 20, desperately tried to smash a window to escape the Vauxhall Tigra when smoke and flames shut down its engine and locked the doors. She eventually managed to start the blazing car and leapt to safety as it rolled along the road - then watched in disbelief as it ‘blew up’ just seconds later.

“It was a nightmare,” said Lauren, who was on her first trip in the sporty, second-hand vehicle.

“I’m grateful to still be around. I definitely had a lucky escape.”

Lauren said she suffered burns to her leg and also lost £1,400 worth of belongings, including her phone in the blaze.

“I came down to see friends and family and my car blew up - it was pretty nuts,” she said.

“I was driving into Sidmouth and the car just set on fire. I went to slow down, but the alarm system went off and it shut down and locked me in.

“I was trapped in a burning car. I tried to smash the window, but it was really difficult and I was panicking. It was scary.

“I managed to start the car and jumped out while it was still moving – it was a bit like 007!

“The whole engine was on fire. I literally had seconds before it blew up.”

Lauren ran to a nearby friend’s house for help and firefighters promptly arrived on the scene on the A3052, near Burscombe Lane, and tackled flames after a passer-by dialled 999.

“It was completely burnt out. There were no windows or tyres left,” said Lauren of the wreckage.

The Londoner, who grew up in East Devon, had bought the car in the capital just hours before setting off on a trip to see family and friends in the area.

She said there were tell-tale signs the vehicle could be faulty during the trip and now suspects it was leaking petrol and oil. “It didn’t look like there was anything wrong with it when I bought it.”

The incident took place at around 10.20pm Wednesday, May 8.

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 17:30

Volunteers working to improve Ottery Skate Park have been recognised for their hard work with a ‘community project of the month’ accolade.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:30

Consider yourself lucky if you have managed to grab tickets to Sidmouth Youth Theatre’s upcoming production of 
Oliver!, as the show has virtually sold out.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:54

The officers were involved in a ‘pre-planned operation’ this afternoon.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:28

The council has teamed up with South West Ambulance and will invest £5,000 in the life saving equipment.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:57

A car propped up on bricks that was dumped in a Sidmouth’s Bowd layby weeks ago has now been trashed.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:37

Coleridge Memorial Trust is appealing for information after ‘thoughtless damage’ was caused to panels remembering Ottery’s ‘most famous son’.

Read more
Tue, 17:30

A familiar face to customers, residents and holidaymakers at Fields of Sidmouth has hung up her apron after 20 years’ service.

Read more
Tue, 17:21

More than 1,200 tonnes of rubbish was recycled in East Devon over Christmas and New Year - the equivalent of six blue whales.

Read more
Tue, 12:30

The leasehold of a Sidmouth coffee shop is now on the market.

Read more
Tue, 06:37

More than £100,000 has been allocated to improve cliff safety in Sidmouth and Beer to ensure public safety.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 0°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications