Puppy escapes burning car before it blows up in ball of flames

A man and his puppy had a lucky escape after their BMW burst into flames. Chris Hackett said he saw smoke billowing from his motor as he pulled away from his house. But, as the plumes got bigger, he and Staffordshire bull terrier Bailey had to run for their lives from the estate car. The 34-year-old and his pup managed to get clear before the blaze engulfed his white 320d estate. Car repairman Chris was forced to watch in horror with the six-month-old dog in his arms. Car maker BMW said they had tried to recall Chris’s car several times. However he denies he ever received a warning letter about it.

Car repairman Chris recalled the day of the fire near his home in Hertford. He said he kissed goodbye to his partner Natalie, 35, and put Bailey in the car. Chris realised he had forgotten his phone and so raced upstairs to get it. When he returned, he said he thought he could smell burning plastic. He said: ‘I panicked and thought I’d better move it away from the flats just in case something bad happens. ‘I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t see any more so I bailed out the car. It was that thick.’ He called 999 and firefighters extinguished the blaze that left his car a blackened shell. ‘I couldn’t believe it,’ he added. ‘I thought how lucky I was to be in a position to get it to a spot and get out. ‘If I’d run up to the flat, got the phone and thought I need to do something else Bailey probably would have died.’

Chris complained to BMW but the firm said they sent out three warning letters about two recalls on his vehicle. Chris – who restores classic cars – insists he did not receive them. Now, he says the car manufacturer will not help him buy a new motor and have stopped paying for his courtesy car. A spokesman for BMW said: ‘BMW takes any incident like this very seriously. ‘In Mr Hackett’s case, BMW conducted two inspections of his car, including by a team which flew in from BMW’s head office in Munich, to determine if a manufacturing defect was responsible. ‘As his car was subject to the heater blower regulator recall, this component was particularly closely inspected on both occasions and found not to be faulty. ‘No clear cause for the fire was established. We have shared our findings in full with the UK safety regulator, the DVSA.’

The firm added: ‘According to our records, Mr Hackett was sent three letters relating to the two recalls involving his car. ‘The first was in May 2018 about the B+ connector – which is not related to fires – the second in July 2018 concerning the heater blower regulator and the third letter was sent in December 2018 to give more detail on both recalls.’ But Chris insists he did not get the warning letters. ‘We were looking at moving and trying to get things planned for a family,’ Chris said. ‘Four months of hell, of lingering, waiting and putting everything on hold.’


Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2019/05/14/puppy-escapes-burning-car-blows-ball-flames-9526896/?ito=cbshare

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