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Photo update: Road re-opens after car catches fire near Rushcutters Arms pub in Thorpe St Andrew

PUBLISHED: 11:09 12 June 2014 | UPDATED: 12:23 12 June 2014

Car first in Thorpe St Andrew. Photo: Anna Blackett

Car first in Thorpe St Andrew. Photo: Anna Blackett

Archant

A woman has described a sound like gun fire as a car caught fire on a busy road leading to Norwich city centre.

Car first in Thorpe St Andrew. Photo: Anna Blackett Car first in Thorpe St Andrew. Photo: Anna Blackett

Drivers were warned to avoid Yarmouth Road in Thorpe St Andrew after the Volkswagen Golf caught fire, sending a large plume of smoke over the area, but the road reopened at 10.13am.

Anna Blackett, who lives near the scene, said: “I heard what sounded like gun shots - about four. I was wondering who was shooting at that time of the morning. I looked out of the window and could see grey, billowing smoke. The flames just kept coming.”

Firefighters were called about the blaze, on Yarmouth Road, at 9.05am, just five minutes after the start of a 24-hour fire strike.

A fire service spokesman said one crew from Hethersett was called to the scene, arriving at 9.18am. They were stood down at 9.21am.

Car first in Thorpe St Andrew. Photo: Anna Blackett Car first in Thorpe St Andrew. Photo: Anna Blackett

Yarmouth Road was blocked, and there were delays in both directions between the Thunder Lane junction and the South Avenue junction.

John Brunton, 65 from Brundall, co-owns River Bank Hair and Beauty with his son on Yarmouth Road where the car fire took place.

He said: “I was sitting waiting for the hairdressers to arrive and heard a bang and thought it was a car backfire. Five minutes later the hairdresser turns up and says a car is on fire. There was already an unmarked policeman there blocking the road off.”

He added: “The owner had smelt burning from under the carpet and saw smoke coming up. He pulled in a lay-by, just in time, as there was a bang and it then caught fire.”

Teacher Antony Little was a passenger in a car passing the scene, near the Rushcutters Arms pub.

He said: “We drove past it quickly because we thought it was going to explode.

“It looks like everyone is safe but it’s massive.”

He said the car had pulled over to a parking bay, all its doors were open, and it looked as if there were no casualties.

He added: “The fire is so big that people are worried it’s going to blow when it gets to the petrol tank, so people are trying to keep their distance and then speed past it.”

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