Combs Ford: Mum vows to never travel without fire extinguisher after car explodes near petrol station

PUBLISHED: 18:10 30 September 2014 | UPDATED: 18:27 30 September 2014

Vix Maceachen's burnt out VW Beetle

Vix Maceachen's burnt out VW Beetle


A charred shell is all that remains of the car seat used by Vix Maceachen's three-year-old daughter after her car burst into flames outside a petrol station early this morning.

Vix Maceachen's burnt out VW BeetleVix Maceachen's burnt out VW Beetle

“It really freaked me out when I saw her car seat, I am just so thankful she was safely at home at the time.”

Vix was travelling home from work at Willow Tree, in Stowmarket, when she noticed a burning smell coming from her VW Bettle.

“I put the heaters on to clear the windscreen, then went over a speed bump and it cut out.

“I had my step son in the car and asked if he could smell burning, and he said he could but then it went so we didn’t worry.

Vix Maceachen's burnt out VW BeetleVix Maceachen's burnt out VW Beetle

“We went round the corner near the Gladstone Arms and noticed our feet were getting very warm.”

The pair leapt from the car and Vix ran to the nearby Esso garage to ask for a fire extinguisher.

“The woman said she couldn’t open the doors because it was so late, and because the fire wasn’t on the forecourt, there was nothing they could do.”

Vix, of Combs Wood Drive, and her 21-year-old step son ran from the scene as the fire took hold.

“We called the fire brigade and they came in about six or seven minutes, but it felt like a lifetime while we were stood there watching, I have never seen a fire go up like that. The flames were as high as the garage signs and it made a real racket.”

The pub cook added: “I only bought the car about three weeks ago, I had wanted a Beetle for years and this was the first time I had been in a position to buy one, and now it is gone.

“I wouldn’t have been able to save the car even if I had a fire extinguisher but I could have stopped the fire taking hold, and it would have a lot less frightening.

“I will never, ever travel without one ever again.”

The new landlords of the Gladstone Arms came out and comforted Vix as she watched the fire destroy her car.

“I would like to say a big thank you to them - they offered us drinks because they were worried we had inhaled smoke, and then they tracked us down via Facebook today to make sure we were OK.”

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