A NORTH Nowra woman had a lucky escape on Friday afternoon when her car caught fire on Illaroo Road.
Maureen Goodwin was just east of the Morschel Avenue intersection, on her way to a medical appointment in Nowra, when she was flagged down by fellow motorist Robert Smith, who noticed flames and smoke coming from her car.
“I was honking my horn and flashing my lights, just trying to get her to stop.
“When I got to her car the flames were still coming out and I told her to get out quick.
“She wanted to grab a few things but we didn’t have time and the car was quickly engulfed in flames.”
Ms Goodwin said she was unaware of the drama unfolding under her vehicle.
“I had a strong smell of petrol, but didn’t know I was on fire until Robert hailed me down,” she said.
“I saw his flashing lights and just stopped. I didn’t see any smoke or fire.
“I’m very lucky.”
The Mitsubishi Magna was extensively damaged in the fire.
Fire and Rescue NSW Shoalhaven crew attended the scene and extinguished the blaze.
Station officer Ian Walters said the crew received a triple zero call just after 1.30pm.
“It appears there may have been a fuel line rupture and once the fuel got onto the hot engine it ignited,” he said.
“She was very lucky she got out when she did.
“If she had stayed in the car much longer she would have been overcome by the toxic fumes.
“Car fires are among the worst for fumes with all the plastics, aluminium, adhesives and components in the engine.”
The incident caused traffic chaos on the normally busy Illaroo Road, which was reduced to an alternating single lane traffic flow.
Just as emergency services were finished at the scene there was another accident further east of the car fire when two four-wheel drive vehicles collided.