AN ENGINEER jumped out of his van to douse a car with foam after it erupted into flames. 

Fire alarm engineer Dave Belprez, 55, was sat in his car in Bridge Street in Witney this morning when a silver car pulled over with a flaming bonnet.

The father-of-two, who lives in East Hanney, had been waiting to test the alarm at new store Peralta Tailoring where the car stopped.

He said: "I parked up at about 8am and sat to do some paperwork before someone could let me in. I looked up and this car was on fire. 

"I happened to have a fire extinguisher in my car but it was all boxed up. I dropped my books, got in the back to open it up, screwed it together and squirted the foam on the car until it ran out. Normally I wouldn't have one in there."

Firefighters turned up to finish the job but modest Mr Belprez, who works for Secom, didn't mention his efforts.

Philip Carpenter, who was walking from his home in Madley Park to work at Coffeesmith, feared that a building was on fire when he spotted "a plume of smoke". 

The 41-year-old barista said: "The firemen were spraying down the shop which is brand new, spraying the whole building with water. They drenched that first then turned their attention to the car."

Jorge Peralta, who owns the tailoring alterations shop, said: "When I arrived the car was burnt out, all damaged and blackened. The driver had managed to get out and was waiting outside.

"I am absolutely happy that the firefighters stopped it spreading - we are hoping to officially open tomorrow."

Traffic was backed up through the town in both directions, with a road closure only lifted this afternoon.