Man, dog, escape burning car in Hamilton.

Now jailed for rape – is there more to this story?
Man, dog, escape burning car in Hamilton.

“Booff” is all Mohamoud Mohammed heard before smoke started billowing from his bonnet.

He managed to roll around the corner of Kent St to stop outside the Forlongs building in Frankton early Thursday.

The Hamilton man grabbed his dog, Lala, and bailed out before the Nissan Sunny went up in flames.

“I’m still in shock,” the former meat worker said from the footpath next to the burnt-out remains of his brother’s car.

He’d borrowed the older model sedan to take his purebred pitbull for a stroll at the nearby park when the engine caught fire at the traffic lights on the busy intersection of Hall St in Hamilton around 9.15am.

“Maybe there was some sort of gas leak over there and the next minute this happened.

“I wasn’t driving for that long and the heat from the engine sparked the fire.”

Once the smoke began pouring, everything happened “really quick”.

“I just ran – took my girl out and ran.”

He bolted to the nearby Tyre Tracks business, asking for a fire extinguisher.

Manager Greg McLeod was inside.

“The man came in asking for a fire extinguisher, saying the car was on fire out the front of the shop.”

One of McLeod’s staffers grabbed the extinguisher and ran across the road to douse the flames to “no avail”.

An off duty police officer in the shop called emergency services.

“The smoke was billowing out from beneath the bonnet and when the fire brigade turned up it was on fire.

“Fire was dripping onto the ground, must have been the oils and plastics.”

Smoke poured over the industrial road as workers gathered on the sidewalk to watch the morning action.

McLeod said Mohammed seemed shaken, yet thankful he and his dog escaped unharmed.

What exactly caused the car to catch fire wasn’t clear, although firefighters told Mohammed it was likely a fault in the older-model vehicle.

“I’ve driven every type of car and that’s never happened.”