A TAXI driver says he ran for his life after his car burst into flames at Poole Quay’s cab rank.

The drama unfolded outside the Jolly Sailor pub on Monday, while the quayside was busy with holidaymakers enjoying the summer evening.

Mohammed Malik told the Daily Echo: “I’d just driven to Ashley Cross and put £20 of diesel in, then drove straight to Poole Quay’s taxi rank.

“Suddenly one of my colleagues from a taxi in front of me comes and says ‘Mr Malik, your car is smoking’.

Bournemouth Echo:  Photo by Peter Morris

“I opened the bonnet and I could see even more smoke. I picked up my fire extinguisher and aimed it at the engine, but it didn’t put it out.

“Fire started coming out of the car at this point, so I ran for my life. I just shouted for someone to call the fire brigade.”

Mr Malik, who operates as an independent Borough of Poole licensed taxi driver, praised the work of the emergency services and his taxi driver colleagues for their help.

“I was very lucky as a police car was just up the road at Dolphin Quay and they came to help and cleared the area. If I had been running a passenger somewhere when this happened, it could have been a lot worse. The fire took hold very quickly.”

Footage captured by Phillip Hesson

Dorset Fire & Rescue Service (DFRS) has confirmed the fire was caused by a faulty engine. A crew from Poole fire station attended at 8pm and used two breathing apparatus and one hose reel jet to quell the blaze.

Jolly Sailor manager John Lambert said: “I was cleaning the back yard behind the pub, I saw the smoke come through and, to be honest, I thought the pub was on fire. So I legged it down the side and all I saw was the car well and truly ablaze. One of my bar staff phoned the fire brigade.”