Catastrophe averted at service station

Car catches fire 50m from 40,000-litre fuel tanker delivering load.

Car catches fire 50m from 40,000-litre fuel tanker delivering load.

SWIFT action by staff and customers stopped what firefighters said was potentially a “catastrophic” situation in its tracks on the forecourt of a Gisborne service station at noon yesterday.

A van caught fire on part of the Foster and Tyler forecourt in Ormond Road in Mangapapa while a 40,000 litre fuel tanker was unloading about 50 metres away from the burning van.

The fire service responded at around 12.45am and sent two appliances to the scene.

“When we arrived the fire had been put out and due to the quick reactions of those involved a potential catastrophe was averted,” a senior firefighter said.

The service station staff and two customers grabbed fire extinguishers and dealt with the fire.

“They did a fantastic job,” the senior firefighter said.

Foster and Tyler owner Dave Mullooly said the owner of the van had dropped it off for repairs, which were to start this morning.

“About 10 minutes after he had parked the van near the fence on the eastern side of the forecourt my staff saw smoke coming out of the vehicle, and then flames underneath.

“The staff and a couple of young guys there getting petrol used up three fire extinguishers putting it out.”

Staff also evacuated the service station.

“Once the fire was out we towed the van away from the forecourt out onto the street for safety and we shut the service station down temporarily,” Mr Mullooly said.

Firefighters made sure the fire was out when they got there and made sure the vehicle was safe.

The fire was confined to the engine compartment.

“It appears it was started by an electrical fault in the Toyota Hiace,” Mr Mullooly said.

“It was great work by all those involved. It was textbook work and because they all reacted so quickly it was a minor event rather than a major catastrophe.

"The van was in the service station this morning for repairs. Fair to say there’s a bit more work to do on it.”

SWIFT action by staff and customers stopped what firefighters said was potentially a “catastrophic” situation in its tracks on the forecourt of a Gisborne service station at noon yesterday.

A van caught fire on part of the Foster and Tyler forecourt in Ormond Road in Mangapapa while a 40,000 litre fuel tanker was unloading about 50 metres away from the burning van.

The fire service responded at around 12.45am and sent two appliances to the scene.

“When we arrived the fire had been put out and due to the quick reactions of those involved a potential catastrophe was averted,” a senior firefighter said.

The service station staff and two customers grabbed fire extinguishers and dealt with the fire.

“They did a fantastic job,” the senior firefighter said.

Foster and Tyler owner Dave Mullooly said the owner of the van had dropped it off for repairs, which were to start this morning.

“About 10 minutes after he had parked the van near the fence on the eastern side of the forecourt my staff saw smoke coming out of the vehicle, and then flames underneath.

“The staff and a couple of young guys there getting petrol used up three fire extinguishers putting it out.”

Staff also evacuated the service station.

“Once the fire was out we towed the van away from the forecourt out onto the street for safety and we shut the service station down temporarily,” Mr Mullooly said.

Firefighters made sure the fire was out when they got there and made sure the vehicle was safe.

The fire was confined to the engine compartment.

“It appears it was started by an electrical fault in the Toyota Hiace,” Mr Mullooly said.

“It was great work by all those involved. It was textbook work and because they all reacted so quickly it was a minor event rather than a major catastrophe.

"The van was in the service station this morning for repairs. Fair to say there’s a bit more work to do on it.”

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