A car owner who dropped off her prized BMW at a garage to be fixed was left stunned when she found out it had burst into flames – by logging on to FACEBOOK.
Thushanthi Rajah, 35, only came across a video of her wrecked £37,000 vehicle on fire when she went onto the social networking site to check her messages.
She had taken the car to a vehicle repair shop after it had an issue with a filter earlier this month.
But when the motor was taken for a test drive after being fixed thick bloke smoke started billowing from the air vents before it caught fire.
Dramatic video footage captured by a local shop owner shows the BMW X5 fully ablaze in the middle of a busy street in Heanor, Derbys.
Thick bloke smoke can be seen pouring from the car which was engulfed in bright orange flames.
Today (Tue), Thushanthi, from Mapperley, Nottingham, told how she only found out her car had caught destroyed when she logged onto Facebook.
The dentist said: “It was the most shocking moment of my life.
“I got a call from the firm to say the car was a write-off and that there had been an issue.
“I then logged onto Facebook to people tagging me in a video of the car on fire. I could not believe it.
“The firm has said sorry. I’m still very shocked by the whole incident. I love my car and to see it like that is terrible.
“Apart from my house, it is my most treasured possession. I’m a single parent and I have worked hard to get a nice car.
“It has really upset me because it is totally destroyed.”
Single mum Thushanthi had taken the car, which she bought seven years ago, to BMWMAN vehicle repair shop in Heanor to fix the filter problem.
Company owner James Beeby, who was taking the car for a test drive when it caught fire on March 7, said his knowledge of BMWs saved his life.
He added: “As I drove up the hill towards the Market Place I noticed light smoke was coming from the air vents into the vehicle.
“The car drove for perhaps 10 seconds longer before the vehicles engine shut down and the rolling electrical faults where flashing up.
“The diagnostics system was now unable to communicate with the engine management and the smoke, now much thicker and blacker, was bellowing from the space between the nearside engine compartment and the bonnet.
“I tried my door, but nothing happened. I tried it several more times and it still wouldn’t open.
“All I could see was the smoke and flames starting to come up, which seemed about an arms length away.
“I remembered a reset procedure which basically took 10 seconds, and the doors released.
“I tried to find a fire extinguisher, as some vehicles are equipped with one, but couldn’t instantly find one and didn’t want to hang around too close for too long.
“The tyres were exploding, the tarmac was melting.
“The flames were so high and the heat was unbelievable. It was an extremely fighting situation to be in.”
Eyewitness Wayne Truman, 41, who filmed the car blaze outside his movie collectibles shop Captain’s Cabin, said locals were lucky the fuel tank didn’t explode.
He added: “I had popped out for lunch and turned the corner to see the commotion.
“There, in the middle of the Market Place, was this BMW X5 on fire.
“The flames had spread from the car and to the tyres and there was all manner of whooshes, pops and fizzes but nothing that you could call a real explosion.
“It was lucky the fuel tank did not go up, that is what I was expecting to happen.”
A spokesman for Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service said a crew from Heanor was called to the incident at 3.15pm on March 7.
He added: “They had to wear breathing apparatus while extinguishing the flames and the police were also called to attend.
“The owner of the car dealt with the recovery of the vehicle and we left the scene shortly before 4.30pm.”
A Derbyshire Police spokesman added: “We received a call at 3.20pm on Monday from the fire service asking us to help control the traffic in the centre of Heanor as the fire was causing major travel disruption.
“Recovery was arranged after the fire was put out and we left the scene shortly after that.”
Dentist Thushanthi Rajah told today (Tue) how she watched video footage online of her BMW ablaze in the middle of the street.
The single mum-of-one, who lives with her 14-year-old daughter, has now been left without a car while she waits for her insurance firm to sort out her payout.
She said: “The man fixing it had called me and said something about a problem
“But I expected it to be a little bit of a smoke not a large fire.
“Then my friend sent me a message because she recognised the number plate and asked me if it was my car.
“I thought ‘Oh my God it is’.
“It was shocked, it was like watching a movie, I just thought that it wasn’t real and wasn’t happening to my car.
“It was all over Facebook by then. People were sharing footage of my pride and joy going up in flames across the world.
“It was horrible to watch my own car being burned like that. It has taken me a week for it to really sink in.
“I know it is only a piece of metal and nobody got injured but now I have got to go through my insurance company and it is inconvenient not having the car.
“My insurance has to certify that it is written off and that can take a week or so so I haven’t got a car.
“It is a complete nightmare.”
Thushanthi said she took the vehicle to BMWMAN in Heanor because they were recommended by the car company.
She added: “It wasn’t anything major that needed doing, it was a common fault with diesel cars.
“The company was recommended to go to because he is a BMW specialist and that is all he does.
“He was a proper legitimate BMW approved company.
“I was expecting to have it back a few days after I dropped it off.
“I spoke to BMW and they said the fire would be nothing to do with the electrics.”