A family from Sunderland have described the terrifying moment they ran for their lives after a motorbike burst into flames on a petrol station forecourt.
Jonathan and Jordan Brown were with their four children; Ollie, 10, Luca, 8, Silver-Rose, 6, Parker, 2, at Esso petrol station on Heworth Road in Washington on Tuesday afternoon when the incident happened. While Jordan went inside to pay, Luca noticed there was a fire and shouted to his dad.
Immediately, Jonathan sprung into action and began beeping the horn to get his wife’s attention inside. Together, they managed to get the children out of the car and run inside as the fire had trapped them on the forecourt.
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Jonathan described how “panic” set in as they didn’t know if and when the petrol station was going to explode and said he thought “they were trapped”. Eventually, he managed to get the door open and escape through the back door before running across the road to safety.
Describing the terrifying incident, Jonathan said: “I was sat in the car with the four kids, while Jordan went in to pay. I noticed two people all in black pull up on a bike and noticed the attendant look at them. I didn’t think anything of it.
“Then I heard a bang and my son Luca shouted dad there’s a fire and they all started screaming. I started beeping the horn to get Jordan’s attention to help me get them out of the car and run.
“We grabbed the two oldest out the boot of our 7-seater car and Jordan got the other two out the back. We couldn’t get off the forecourt because of where the fire was so we had to run into the petrol station.
“We panicked not knowing when and if the petrol station was going to explode, I thought we were trapped so we started moving stuff out of the way of the counter while shouting. I managed to get the door open and we got out the back door and across the road to safety.”
Thankfully no one was injured but the incident has understandably left the family “shaken”. Jonathan added: “The kids seem alright now just a bit shaken still and they mention how lucky we are.
“I just can’t stop going through it in my head over and over, I can’t sleep. I keep thinking about how much worse it could have been. Jordan is the same as me too but hasn’t spoken about it much.”
Crews from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service attended the scene at the Esso petrol station following a call at 3.26pm. A motorbike had reportedly caught fire with the huge blaze clearly visible to drivers and pedestrians in the Concord area with dark smoke billowing into the sky.
Fire crews tackled the blaze for approximately half an hour with a fuel device isolated before the petrol station was evacuated. The fire was put out at 3.56pm following the attendance of two appliances at the scene.
Images from the scene following the extinguishment of the fire show extensive external damage to fuel pumps and damage to the roof of the petrol station. The cause of the fire is thought to be accidental.
A spokesperson for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said: “Our crews responded to a fire at Esso Petrol Station on Heworth Road in Washington following a call at 15.26pm. Two appliances attended the scene.
“There were reports of a motorbike on fire. Our crews isolated the fuel device before evacuating the petrol station. The incident concluded at 15.56pm. The cause of the fire is thought to be accidental.”