A road sweeper which burst into flames in Exmouth, during the early hours of Sunday morning, has been completely destroyed.
The driver thankfully escaped the vehicle unharmed, although a little shaken, after the incident which took place at around 6.15am yesterday, December 19.
The East Devon District Council (EDDC) worker had been going about his regular Strand sweeping round when he noticed something had ignited in the sweeper.
To minimise the possible danger to passers-by and buildings, he had the presence of mind to drive the vehicle into the middle of the Strand, which is where it promptly burst into flames.
The fire service was called and quickly extinguished the blaze.
An EDDC spokesperson said:
We are very thankful that the driver was unharmed and was so quick thinking to drive the vehicle into a safer place, away from passers-by, putting his own safety at risk in the moments before the sweeper was overtaken by the fire. He was the hero of the day.
EDDC’s duty officer took steps to cordon off the burnt out sweeper, after the fire service deemed it safe, and has used spill kits to try and absorb oil which has leaked from the vehicles hydraulics.
The council has arranged collection of the vehicle for this morning (Monday), and will then complete a clean-up, including removal of any oil residue.
The EDDC spokesperson added:
We will begin an investigation with our health and safety team along with our insurers to determine the cause of the fire.
As a precautionary measure EDDC has also stood down another sweeper of the same make, which we have on the same fleet, until the cause is understood.