A LORRY driver was lucky to escape with his life after his cab caught fire on a busy dual carriageway.

Traffic on the eastbound A31 near Ringwood was brought to a standstill by the blaze shortly after the morning rush-hour yesterday.

The blaze involved a refrigerated lorry containing meat.

Driver Andrew House said the fire had broken out in the engine compartment of his vehicle and quickly spread to the refrig-eration unit.

He said he was lucky to escape his cab in time.

Mr House added: “The fire spread from the middle of the cab. I realised I had to get out quickly and so I jumped out. I was really lucky to get out. I am shaken up.

“It caught fire quickly. It was ferocious.”

Amazingly, Mr House escaped without a scratch from his ordeal.

A spokesperson for Hampshire Fire and Rescue said they were called at 9.39am to the fire on the eastbound carriageway of the A31 at Poulner Hill. Two crews from Ringwood attended.

They said the fire was believed to have started in the cab of the 18-tonne lorry and was ‘well-alight’ on arrival.

Firefighters used two sets of breathing apparatus and hoses to fight the fire.

It was extinguished by 10.20am and firefighters remained on the scene for around 20 minutes damping down.

Traffic built up towards the Ringwood and Fordingbridge turnoffs.