Gympie towie rescues ‘kid’ from burning van
IT WAS no kidding matter when a Gympie tow-truck driver helped rescue a goat from a burning vehicle on the side of the road on Saturday.
Craig Lovegrove of Clayton's Towing was driving back from a job on the Bruce Hwy around midday when he saw a van on the side of the road with smoke spiralling out of it.
The driver, a Goomeri woman, was out of the vehicle but was screaming with urgency about something or someone still in the vehicle.
"I couldn't understand at first," Mr Lovegrove said as he saw the car flooded with smoke.
"I made the assumption there were people in the car still."
The quick-thinking tow-truck driver grabbed the fire extinguisher from his truck and started pumping it through the front window of the van which was made invisible with smoke.
After using a second fire extinguisher, which ran out, the fire ignited further and Mr Lovegrove was forced to open the boot to get into the vehicle.
That's when he was hit with a full blow of smoke and heat that filled his lungs and hit his face.
He saw two chickens in a cage which he wrenched from the car, but a goat was tied up just out of reach.
"The goat was actually on fire," he told The Gympie Times.
"I couldn't get close enough to get the goat out and then the goat's lead must have melted because the jumped out of the back."
A nearby biker who had stopped to help, ripped grass out of the ground and started whacking the goat to put the fire out.
"It was a pretty lucky goat," Mr Lovegrove said, as were another goat and a dog that had jumped out of the front of the van in the meantime.
The Clayton's driver was taken to Gympie Hospital with smoke inhalation, and while he was back on the job yesterday, he said it was one of his more interesting experieneces in his seven years as a tow-truck driver.
"It's not everyday you put a fire out and you don't know what you're putting out."
The driver was assessed at the scene but had no injuries.
The highway was closed during the incident.
There is no explanation as to why the vehicle caught fire.