Blazing van runs out-of-control down busy road

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Stunned drivers had to take evasive action as an out-of-control blazing van careered down a busy Halifax road.

The Ford Transit travelled over 200 yards and crossed Boothtown Road, Boothtown, before coming to rest by a front garden.

It had been parked by the kerb after sparks started flying and the five occupants escaped before the fire took hold.

But, the blaze then tore through the handbrake which caused it to move off.

Driver Dave Clarke was taking four teenagers from Queensbury to Elland where they intended to go mountain biking.

Passenger Joe Gatenby, 16, said the problem started in the battery and sparks set alight the driver’s seat.

They all got out and removed the bikes from the rear of the van before the blaze took hold.

“We called the fire brigade but the fire then burnt through the handbrake and the van ran off down the hill,” he said.

“It crossed the road and hit the house at the other side.

“Cars had to move out of the way as it went down the road.

“It happened so quickly we didn’t know what to think.”

Glass windows in the van were shattering as the blaze, fuelled by wood in the back of the van, ripped through the vehicle.

Boothtown resident Kath Jackson lives across the road from where the van caught fire and shared her pictures and video with the Courier.

She said it was a very scary spectacle - especially when the van started moving.

“I was sat in the lounge and heard voices outside,” she said.

“I saw flames inside the van and it rolled down the road in a ball of flames and came to rest still on fire.

“There were still cars going up and down the road and luckily none were caught in its path.”

Fire crews from Brighouse and Illingworth put out the blaze on Tuesday at 6.40 pm which was caused by an electrical fault.

Police closed the road for about an hour while the incident was dealt with.

See the dramatic video online at