Fire fighters were forced to control flames that had spread to scrub on the roadside before turning the hose upon the car.
Fire fighters were forced to control flames that had spread to scrub on the roadside before turning the hose upon the car. Che Chapman

Car inferno clouds highway

MOTORISTS braved poor visibility from thick smoke and possible injury as they passed a spectacular car fire at Palmview in the school holiday retreat from the Sunshine Coast.

A car believed to be a late model Mercedes hatchback caught fire and erupted in the southbound lane of the Bruce Hwy near the Sippy Creek Rd intersection, just before the Aussie World exit, at 5.10pm.

Witness Che Chapman said the blaze soon spread into dry grass and scrub at the side of the road.

"When I came up to it, the fire had only just started and the traffic was going past it, not slowing down much," he said.

"But then it erupted and went into a proper fireball.

"The flames would have been 20ft (6m) or so, maybe.

"Then I think everyone (motorists) saw it unfolding and stopped to watch it happen.

"But as the fire got more violent, cars were trying to go around it - creeping past as far away as they could.

"The visibility on the highway was pretty much zero for a few moments at its peak, blowing straight across (the lanes).''

Mr Chapman said police arrived within minutes, followed soon after by firefighters, who concentrated on bringing the grassfire under control first before it could spread and possibly threaten nearby properties.

While the vehicle was "just charred metal", he believed the female driver of the car had been able to make it to safety.

The cause of the car fire was not known late yesterday.



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