Drama as chip van destroyed in blaze

A PENSIONER today relived the shocking moment his fish and chip van was destroyed in a blaze - minutes before he was due to sell the vehicle.

A PENSIONER today relived the shocking moment his fish and chip van was destroyed in a blaze - minutes before he was due to sell the vehicle.

Lance Peters, who was recently diagnosed with cancer, had agreed a �2,500 fee with a buyer from Colchester after deciding to sell up and concentrate on fighting his illness.

But half-an-hour before he had planned to hand over the keys, the van suddenly burst into flames.

Mr Peters, 68, required hospital treatment after suffering burns to his arm while attempting to move his Renault Megane from the scene of the fire.


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The car, which was severely scorched by the flames, has since been declared a write-off.

Meanwhile, the wall of a nearby electricity sub-station was smashed down when a gas canister on board the fish and chip van exploded.

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The drama unfolded in Barhams Way, Wickham Market at around 1.30pm on Wednesday.

Former cab driver and publican Mr Peters, who moved to Suffolk with his wife from his native Liverpool 11 years ago, said it was a miracle no one had been hurt.

“I couldn't believe it - it was like Beirut,” he said.

“Half-an-hour later and the van would have been sold. The chap had agreed on the fee and he was thrilled to bits with it.

“The next thing I knew, the van was on fire. When I got there, the van was completely ablaze.

“My Renault Megane was parked alongside it and the flames caught the side of the car. I was worried that the petrol tank would catch alight so I opened the door, knocked it out of gear and let it roll away.

“I didn't even notice my arm at the time but afterwards I was in complete agony.”

Mr Peters, of Barhams Way, said the blaze had been the result of a mechanical fault and ruled out foul play.

The flames caused damage to the fence of the home of neighbour Peggy Hallett, 68.

She said: “I wasn't here at the time but there was a gas bottle on board which exploded and I'm told there was a massive bang.

“People keep asking me if I'm ok but at the end of the day it's only a fence.”

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