A MECHANIC had a lucky escape yesterday when a camper van he had been called to recover blew up – just yards from where a fire crew was conducting a practice session.
And the fortunate worker had double luck on his side as the incident took place right outside Edinburgh’s main police station.
The fire officers rushed over to the man’s aid and the blaze was quickly extinguished.
The mechanic from GCR Motors was sent to the recover the vehicle outside Lothian and Borders Police headquarters at Fettes after it had been reported the van had a fuel leak.
As he started the camper van’s engine and began to drive it onto his waiting recovery truck, the vehicle suddenly caught fire.
The unnamed driver said: “I knew the van had a fuel leak but didn’t really expect it to blow up when I started the engine.
“Luckily, the engine is in the back of these vehicles and I managed to get out of there pretty quickly.
“The fire service were just a few yards away doing some kind of training exercise in the grounds of the police station and a few of them came running over to help.
“I suppose if something like this is going to happen I couldn’t have picked a better place.
“I mean, what are the chances of the van catching fire outside the main police station with a fire crew just yards away.
“I was so lucky because it could have been so much worse.”
Around a dozen members of the Lothian Fire Service were in the grounds of the Fettes police station conducting a Marine Incident Exercise.
The fire crew was practicing their rescue procedures with an RAF helicopter when the nearby van erupted in flames.
A Lothian Fire spokesperson confirmed the onsite officers helped the mechanic to bring the fire under control, but were also forced to send another appliance to deal with the incident.