MEN PUSH BLAZING VEHICLE CLEAR OF 20,000 GALLONS OF PETROL
A man and his fiancée narrowly escaped death when the car they were travelling in to Cardiff to make to make arrangements for their wedding on Saturday exploded after they got out on a garage forecourt.
The car was at Castle Garage, High Street, Ammanford, alongside petrol pumps connected to tanks containing 20,000 gallons of petrol, when flames were spotted pouring out of the boot.
Garage employees dashed to the car with fire extinguishers and damped down the flames coming from the boot.
They had pushed the vehicle clear of the petrol pumps when it exploded.
The alarm point outside the fire station across the road in Heol Wallasey was used to call the brigade. Six firemen fought the blaze but the car was a write-off.
Fireman Brian Jones of Colonel Road , Betws received treatment at the Hall Street surgery for burns to his arm.
Driver of the car, Mr. Thomas Bleddyn Jones, aged 25 of 9, Waterloo Road , Penygroes, smelt petrol in the car and stopped at the garage. He went into the stores while his fiancée, Miss Wendy Patchet, of 1, Grenig Road . Glanamman went to make a telephone call.
Shortly after entering the stores, Mr. Jones went out to move his car and saw flames pouring out of the boot.
He called for help, and Mr. Kenneth Burton, a 26-year-old mechanic, of Tycroes Road , Tycroes, dashed to the car with a fire extinguishers.
“We emptied the extinguishers on the fire, killing the flames, and pushed the car off the forecourt,” said Mr. Burton. When it was clear the car exploded, he added.
Mr. Dai Rees, of Llandeilo Road , Llandybie, helped the two men to move the vehicle.
“If the couple had been in the car when it exploded they would not have had a chance said Mr. Burton .
The car battery alongside the petrol tank in the boot is believed to have short-circuited and caused the fire.
A fire brigade spokesman said there was a danger of petrol in the garages tanks catching fire.
Mr. Jones's mother, Mrs. Gwyneth Jones, said the couple were travelling to Cardiff to make arrangement with a friend who was to be best man at their wedding.
She said personal belongings were damaged in the car. Her son managed to salvage notes in his wallet which was in the vehicle. The serial numbers were legible.
Mr. Jones is art master at Ystrad Tywli High School Johnstown, Carmarthen , where his fiancée is needlework mistress.