Video: Mother Trapped Inside Car As It Erupts Into Raging Fireball

17 December 2017, 13:18 | Updated: 28 October 2019, 15:21

A Smart car was transformed into a raging fireball on a petrol station forecourt after a woman poured fuel into its interior, rather than its fuel tank.

This terrifying video footage shows the heart-stopping moment a car owner was trapped inside their vehicle - as it transformed into a raging fireball.

Julie Nicklin, 54, had mistakenly poured fuel into her Smart car's interior through a detachable cap on the other side of the car - not the one containing its fuel tank.

Mum-of-two Julie, who was too embarrassed by the gaffe to be photographed, ignited the fuel as she turned the ignition key.

Julie's Smart car erupts into a fireball
Julie's Smart car erupts into a fireball. Picture: SWNS

The 2005 Fortwo Pulse instantly exploded and trapped Julie inside, while it caused other motorists on the forecourt to run for cover.

But she had a lucky escape as she was pulled out of the car by a fellow motorist who raced across the forecourt to get to her. as the disastrous scene unfolded.

Builder Brian Turner, 54, was behind Julie on the Asda petrol station forecourt in Lancaster, on Friday at 8.15am when he heard a very loud "bang."

Hero Brian ran straight over to the car and opened the door to get to the terrified woman - at which point flames jumped out of the car and singed his arm hair.

With flames "everywhere" around him, Brian reached into the car and "dragged" Julie out - who was parked right up against the fuel pump.

Brian and his van
Brian and his van. Picture: LBC

He said: "All you could see inside the car was flames - it felt like it lasted forever but it was literally seconds.

"As soon as I opened the door it went bang again and burned my arms, hands and neck.

"She is only a small lady and had the seat right up against the steering wheel so I had to drag her out.

"I finally got her out and was running and dragging her along with me - then we heard another explosion when were about ten feet away.

"The petrol pump nozzle had ignited."

Brian managed to get teaching assistant Julie to safety about 60 feet away then went to check on a work colleague back on the forecourt.

The pair were then taken to the superstore by staff to be checked over - but miraculously Julie was unharmed.

All her clothes and even her glasses were scorched, however, Brian believes what saved her was the fact that the large puffer-style jacket she was wearing did not get set alight.

He said: "If that jacket had gone up I wouldn't have been able to get to her.

"It's funny because people keep saying I'm a hero but I just did it - I didn't think about it.

"I'm just glad I was able to help her."

Julie, of Lancaster, who admitted Brian had saved her life, said: "Brian needs to be recognised for what he did.

"Everyone else had run away and I couldn't get out of the car - he saved my life.

"I couldn't get out because I had parked so close to the pump.

"The car is completely destroyed and and all my clothes were burned - apart from my jacket which was an expensive one.

"It's a miracle and I will always be indebted to that man.

"It was the most awful thing that has ever happened - but I'm just so embarrassed.

"There is another cap on the other side of the car which looks just like a petrol cap - something didn't feel right as was using it."

Fire crews manage to isolate the fuel supply at the petrol pump while police and ambulance teams were also in attendance as a precaution.

The road into the supermarket was closed and paramedics treated motorists for smoke inhalation.

Brian, a grandfather of six, and a builder for a windows firm, went back to work the same day.