Old faith­ful bites dust

Geelong Advertiser - - NEWS - HAR­RI­SON TIPPET

A HUS­BAND and wife es­caped un­scathed af­ter their trusty Toy­ota burst into flames on the side of the Princes Free­way at Avalon yes­ter­day.

But Colin Bell had time to res­cue his fish­ing gear be­fore the flames spread too far.

“First, I got the wife out, then I got the fish­ing gear out,” Mr Bell said with a laugh.

Mr Bell and his wife, Joanne, were driv­ing to Gee­long about 9.30am yes­ter­day when they first no­ticed some­thing was wrong with their Toy­ota Avalon.

“We were just driv­ing along,” Mr Bell said.

“I had an en­gine light on but I’d checked the oil and it was fine, and thought it must be a faulty en­gine light or some­thing.

“Then it just jerked a bit, all the dash lights came on, so I pulled over, lifted the bon­net, checked the oil and saw a bit of smoke down near the power steer­ing. Then there was a fire and that was the end of it.

“I thought, ‘Oh, what’s that, just a lit­tle bit of flame?’ Then it just kept on go­ing. It was so quick.”

Mr Bell said there had never been an is­sue with the in­sured car.

“Six­teen years I had it, since brand new,” he said. “It’s never had a prob­lem, I get it ser­viced reg­u­larly, and it ac­tu­ally runs beau­ti­fully — well, not now — but it used to run per­fectly. It had 36km when I bought it, and it had 271,000km on it when it went up in smoke.”

The CFA quickly ex­tin­guished the fire.

Pic­ture: ALAN BAR­BER

UP IN SMOKE: Fire­men were quickly on the scene of the car fire and (inset) own­ers Colin and Joanne Bell could still smile af­ter the in­ci­dent.

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