Family returns from church to find car ‘with dogs inside’ on fire in Dartmouth Park

Two dogs were said to be in the car at the time of the fire. Picture: David Rosie

Two dogs were said to be in the car at the time of the fire. Picture: David Rosie - Credit: Archant

Shocked onlookers watching firefighters battle a car fire tonight have described their horror after seeing the vehicle’s owner return from a church service to say their two pet dogs were inside.

The damage done to the two cars

The damage done to the two cars - Credit: Archant

Flames were seen running down the residential street in Dartmouth Park as a fire engine dealt with the blaze, which had initially engulfed one car and then spread to another.

Loud explosions filled the street as the fire, which began shortly before 9pm this evening in Chetwynd Road, saw fuel tanks explode.

Onlookers then described seeing a distraught family arrive to the chaotic scenes to claim they were the owners of one of the cars on fire – and that their two pet dogs were inside.

One witness told the Ham&High: “The family had just left the nearby church and came across. They looked horrified as they saw the fire and said ‘That’s our car...our dogs are inside’. They just burst into tears. Neighbours were hugging and consoling them and they returned to the church. It’s just awful.

At least one dog was confirmed to have died in the car fire. Photo: David Rosie

At least one dog was confirmed to have died in the car fire. Photo: David Rosie - Credit: Archant


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“I can’t imagine the dogs are still alive. The fire was ferocious. There was flaming fuel just running from the cars down the street and the explosions were huge. It’s shocking.”

The fire was extinguished by about 9.30pm. Its cause is not yet known.

This article has been updated here with confirmation from the police that just one dog was killed in the fire.

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