June 19 2013 Latest news:
by Flora Drury
Thursday, July 12, 2012
A pensioner was dragged from her car moments before it burst into flames outside a Highgate school in a “true act of heroism”.
The woman was driving in Highgate High Street, near the gates of Channing School, at about 3.45pm on Tuesday when the driver behind noticed sparks flying from underneath and tried to get her attention.
The 72-year-old woman pulled over but remained oblivious to the danger she was in. Eyewitnesses described seeing a male passer-by pulling her from the car moments before it exploded.
Annabel Morgan posted on Twitter: “Just witnessed true act of heroism – man dragging elderly lady from burning car on Highgate Hill.”
Journalist Mark Moody, who had just picked up his eight-year-old daughter from nearby St Michael’s Primary School, said: “As we travelled over the brow of the hill we saw a small amount of smoke. Within 10 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.
“The underneath of the car was completely on fire. Then it exploded and literally leapt off the ground. There were sparks everywhere and it stank of burning rubber. It was pretty scary.Dozens of people gathered. We were all concerned that the driver was okay.”
Firefighters from Kentish Town station spent 45 minutes putting out the blaze, which had also spread to a parked Ford Mondeo.
Crew manager William Larter said the cause of the fire was believed to be electrical, and the pensioner was shaken but unhurt.
“She was quite lucky the people spotted it quite so fast.
“It could have been a lot worse,” he said.