Hero builder pulls Lancaster woman from burning car

Brian Turner.
Brian Turner.

A hero builder has told how he bravely pulled a woman from her burning car seconds before it was completely engulfed in flames.

Brian Turner said he acted without thinking when he helped the woman – known only as Julie – from her car after it exploded at Asda petrol station on Friday morning.

Fire at Asda petrol station. Photo by Jack Gannon.

Fire at Asda petrol station. Photo by Jack Gannon.

Brian, 54, was in his work van at one of the pumps behind Julie’s car when the incident happened just before 8.15am.

As fellow motorists ran for cover, Brian, who has worked for Plas-Tech for 10 years, ran towards the flames and dragged Julie from her vehicle.

Seconds later the car was engulfed in flames.

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.

Fire at Asda petrol station.

Fire at Asda petrol station.

“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.

She told him her name was Julie and that she was also 54, lives in Lancaster and works with children with special needs.

Plas-Tech are now hoping to trace Julie so that they can send her some flowers.

The aftermath of the fire at Asda petrol station.

The aftermath of the fire at Asda petrol station.

Brian, who lives in Kendal and has six grandchildren, suffered from smoke inhalation as well as minor burns, but was back at work the same day.

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.”

Four fire crews from Lancaster and Morecambe tackled the blaze, isolating the fuel supply at the petrol pump involved in order to make the area safe.

Lancashire Fire are now investigating the cause of the blaze. It is thought the explosion happened when the woman started her engine after having filled her car.

Another car was also seriously damaged as a result of the fire.

* If Julie or anyone who knows her would like to get in touch with us, we can put her in touch with Brian and the Plas-Tech team.