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Car bursts into flames, North Saanich motorist escapes injury

A young man driving home from a friend’s house in Sidney narrowly escaped injury after his car suddenly burst into flames late Saturday night.
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North Saanich firefighters extinguish a fire in this 1990s Volkswagen Golf on Lands End Road on Saturday night.

A young man driving home from a friend’s house in Sidney narrowly escaped injury after his car suddenly burst into flames late Saturday night.

Shafiq Hussein, 19, was not far from home on Lands End Road when he turned on the heater and smoke started pouring from under the dash of the 1994 Volkswagen Golf.

He saw sparks so he turned off the motor, got out and called 911 around 11:30 p.m.

“There was a small fire at first and maybe a minute later it started going full on,” said Hussein.

Two of his friends arrived and the three waited for North Saanich firefighters to arrive about 10 minutes later.  

“[He] bailed out and the car caught on fire pretty quickly,” said North Saanich fire chief Gary Wilton.

Wilton initially reported there were three people in the car because the three were on scene when he arrived but Hussein said he was alone in the car and his friends arrived just after the fire broke out.

Two firetrucks with eight firefighters arrived and crews extinguished the fully engulfed car. A tow truck was called to remove the wreckage.

Wilton believes it was an electrical malfunction that caused the fire.

The car was towed away and Hussein was driven home by his friends.

“It could have been worse,” he said. “If I was in there for a couple more minutes I would have been covered in flames.”