Kingston driving instructor jobless after blaze

2:49pm Thursday 3rd May 2012

A driving instructor has been left out of work after his car was destroyed in a blaze in the middle of the night.

Brian Black was woken by a neighbour banging on his door telling him his Hyundai Amica, which was parked outside his flat in Portsmouth Road, Kingston, was alight.

The 72-year-old rushed out with several other residents to see his livelihood in flames and to make matters worse had to watch as the fire spread to his partner’s car which was parked next to it.

He said: "I was a bit distressed especially when it caught my partner’s car.

"It woke up all the residents, it’s a big block of flats, we all came out. Luckily it didn’t set the place alight.

"They said it looks like it was an electrical fault. They are both write-offs."

The retired school teacher said he was surprised as his car of four years had been serviced recently but he would now be forced to cancel lessons for the next few weeks until a replacement was sorted out.

He said: "The thing that worries me is that I could have been in the car at the time. These things can be dangerous."

Firefighters from Kingston and Surbiton were scrambled to the scene outside Pegasus Court, where about 52 people live, at about 3am on Tuesday, May 1.

Surbiton watch manager Dave Englefield said there were no injuries, no buildings were evacuated and the crew of about ten firefighters left the scene after about an hour.

He said: "Both cars were completely destroyed and the fire had spread from one to the other car.

"You get a few pops and bangs with cars on fire but not an explosion.

"A few of the residents in the block came out and one moved his car but other than that it was all quiet."

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