Two people escape after a van suddenly bursts into flames on a busy rush-hour road in Harborough

The driver and passenger leapt out of the blazing vehicle after it caught fire

Friday, 15th October 2021, 10:08 am
Updated Friday, 15th October 2021, 10:10 am
Two people escaped unhurt after a van suddenly burst into flames on a busy rush-hour road in Market Harborough.

Two people escaped unhurt after a van suddenly burst into flames on a busy rush-hour road in Market Harborough.

The driver and passenger leapt out of the blazing vehicle after it caught fire just before 8am yesterday (Thursday) near Harborough Leisure Centre on Northampton Road.

Firefighters from Market Harborough fire station raced to the scene after being alerted by motorists and passers-by as the main road leading in and out of the town was closed off.

Wearing special breathing apparatus, the Fairfield Road station crew tackled the fierce fire using a hose reel jet as commuter and commercial traffic quickly built up in both directions.

The diesel van was already well alight when firefighters got there just minutes after the driver and passenger jumped out shaken up but unharmed.

Firefighters used absorbent pads to soak up litres of diesel which had soaked on to the road during the 999 drama.

Police and Leicestershire County Council Highways officers also attended the incident as drivers were warned to avoid the area and find alternative routes.

The accident sparked severe morning rush-hour delays as Market Harborough town centre quickly became choked up.

One lane of Northampton Road was reopened at 8.41am and the whole road was reopened about an hour later.

The fire is believed to have been caused by an electrical fault, said Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service today, and the van was destroyed.