Nfld. & Labrador

Narrow escape for driver as fire devours Gander car

A Gander driver was able to escape a vehicle shortly before it became engulfed in flames Tuesday.
A Gander driver was able to escape their vehicle before they were hurt by flames in a car fire in the town Tuesday. 2:29

A Gander driver was able to escape a vehicle just minutes before her car was devoured by flames on Airport Boulevard on Tuesday, with the help of a Good Samaritan.

Cory Foster noticed the fire as the grey sedan neared one of the town's busiest intersections at about noon. He said he warned the woman behind the wheel, who didn't seem to know about the flames coming from the back of her car.

"I immediately ran to her, and I guess frantically yelled at her 'You need to get out, your car is on fire,'" he said.

"Thankfully, we got her far enough away."

Foster said it only took a minute to stop his pickup and get the woman out, but the fire spread frighteningly fast. 

"From the time it took me to park my truck about 100 feet in front of her and jump out and run to her, there was a trail of fire coming out from behind the car," he said. 

"By the time we got her out, there was smoke in the backseat."

Cory Foster said he spotted the burning car on his usual lunch run. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

Foster also warned other drivers not to come too close to the burning car.

He's humble about what he did, saying anyone would have helped, but the experience has left quite an impression.

"It was crazy ... just to hear the boom, see the boom, knowing full well that that lady was in her car a couple of minutes before that," he said.

Quick clean up

Addison Quilty, assistant deputy fire chief, said firefighters were able to quickly douse the flames once they arrived on scene.

He said the vehicle was sliding slowly down the road as they arrived, but firefighters extinguished the fire before anything got into the town's storm drains.

"Basically, when we got there we hauled our attack line off the truck and basically guys went in and attacked the fire and had it out maybe within the first couple of minutes of arriving on scene," he said. 

The woman was the only person in the vehicle at the time.

With files from Chris Ensing