Lancaster mum-of-two hails builder a hero after he saves her from burning car at Asda

A mum-of-two has told how a hero builder saved her life when her car exploded at the Asda petrol station.

Monday, 18th December 2017, 10:20 am
Updated Monday, 18th December 2017, 1:10 pm
Fire at Asda petrol station. Photo by Jack Gannon.

Julie Nicklin had mistakenly poured fuel into the inside of her Smart car, which set the car alight as she turned the ignition.

The 2005 Fortwo Pulse model instantly exploded, trapping Julie inside, while other motorists ran for cover.

Julie, 54, was parked right up against the fuel pump at the Asda petrol station in Ovangle Road – but she had a lucky escape thanks to another motorist.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Fire at Asda petrol station. Photo by Mel Thompson.

Hero builder Brian Turner pulled her from the burning car after racing across the forecourt to rescue her.

Brian, 54, was behind Julie on the forecourt in Lancaster on Friday morning when he heard a loud bang.

He raced across the forecourt to pull Julie to safety as her car went up in flames.

Brian managed to get teaching assistant Julie to safety about 60 feet away before going to check on a work colleague back on the forecourt.

Brian Turner.

The pair were then taken to the supermarket by staff to be checked over – and miraculously Julie was unharmed.

All her clothes and even her glasses were scorched but Brian believes what saved her was the fact that the large puffer-style jacket she was wearing did not get set alight.

Julie, who lives in Lancaster, said Brian had saved her life.

“Brian needs to be recognised for what he did,” she said.

Julie Nicklin's burnt out car being removed from the Asda petrol station on Monday December 18.

“Everyone else had run away and I couldn’t get out of the car – he saved my life. I couldn’t get out because I had parked so close to the pump.

“The car is completely destroyed and and all my clothes were burned – apart from my jacket which was an expensive one.

“It’s a miracle and I will always be indebted to that man.

“It was the most awful thing that has ever happened – but I’m just so embarrassed.

Fire at Asda petrol station. Photo by Mel Thompson.

“There is another cap on the other side of the car which looks just like a petrol cap – something didn’t feel right as was using it.”

Brian, who suffered burns to his hands, arms and legs, said: “I had called in to get diesel for the work van, and just as I opened the petrol cap I heard a bang, and I turned around and the whole of the car in front was in flames, inside and out.”

Dad-of-four Brian quickly realised the woman had parked tightly to the petrol pump and was struggling to get out.

“I ran to the car and pulled her out and then we just ran,” he said. “We had literally seconds to get away. We were running up the hill to the main road and the flames were running down the road between my legs.”

Brian sat with the woman until paramedics arrived. She was then taken to hospital by ambulance.

Brian, who lives in Kendal, suffered from smoke inhalation as well as minor burns, but was back at work at Plas-Tech the same day.

Brian Turner.

He was taken into Asda – which had evacuated all customers – and given tea while he recovered from his ordeal.

“Looking back it was a big shock but at the time my only thought was to make sure the lady was OK,” he said. “It’s hard to explain how quickly it all happened but I couldn’t leave her there.

“She kept on thanking me for saving her life, but I just did what anyone else would have done; I just happened to be the one who was there.”

Fire crews manage to isolate the fuel supply at the petrol pump while police and ambulance teams were also in attendance as a precaution.

The road into the supermarket was closed and paramedics treated motorists for smoke inhalation.

Julie Nicklin's burnt out car being removed from the Asda petrol station on Monday December 18.