A WOMAN has had a lucky escape after her car burst into flames when she started the ignition in a supermarket car park in Dursley earlier today.

Just after 10am on Thursday, December 5 a fire engine from Dursley Fire Station was called to Sainsbury’s on Castle Street after a green Ford S-Max started billowing smoke from its bonnet and was soon up in flames.

The smoke and smell of the burning vehicle could be experienced around the town as the crew of five firefighters battled to quell the blaze.

The front half of the Ford was completely destroyed in the fire, with the interior gutted by the flames as startled shoppers looked on helplessly.

Sainsbury’s employee Alli Batten said the owner of the car, believed to be from Wiltshire, had called the fire service after her car had started smoking.

“She said she turned on the ignition and smelt a funny smell so she got out of the car and then it went up in flames,” she said.

“I could see the flames from inside the shop.”

Dursley Fire Station commander Neil Bridges told the Gazette at the scene that it was believed to be an electrical fault with the car.

The crew used two hoses and two sets of breathing apparatus to help quell the fire and left by 11.58am.

The burnt out car has been cordoned off in the corner of the car park, and Sainsbury’s staff applied salt around the vehicle to soak up the excess water from the fire engine.

Another unlucky motorist this morning was Roger Powell from South Street in Uley who happened to have parked their brand new silver Mitsubishi ASX next to the Ford before heading into town.

The car, which the couple bought in Cam for £22,000 only six weeks ago, had melted in large parts on the right hand side and suffered scratches and marks from the hoses of the fire engine.

Mr Powell said he was stunned to come back from the centre of Dursley to see that car up in smoke next to his.

“My wife had parked the car and gone into Sainsbury’s and then she heard it over the Tannoy that a car was on fire in the car park and she came running out,” he said.

“I was completely shocked. Especially when I saw the damage all down the side of the car.”