Hero lorry driver speaks out after blaze rips through trailer
- Credit: Gary Nunn
The driver of a lorry that burst into flames in Hitchin has spoken to the Comet about his ordeal, praising all who helped him.
Trucker Gary Nunn, who hails from Eltham in south east London, had travelled with his load of crushed cars ready for scrap from Purfleet in Essex, and was just minutes from his Wallace Way destination before disaster struck.
Herts fire was alerted to the blaze on the A505 near Paynes Park - outside Hitchin Library - just before 12.30pm on Monday, July 5. The fire ripped through the trailer of Gary's lorry, and took crews more than 10 hours to extinguish.
Gary's heroic actions were praised, as he managed to drive his lorry - which had burst into a blazing inferno - away from trees, vehicles and homes, preventing any further damage or incidents.
"There was quite a lot of stuff going on at the time!" Gary exclaimed.
"It was overwhelming when it first happened, and then it was a case of a bit of panic, a bit of adrenaline and a bit of thinking how I could get the lorry somewhere safe-ish so it was away from anything that could also go up in flames as well."
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Gary admitted that as he leapt into action, hopping into the cab of a lorry in flames, he wasn't really thinking, and that his instincts took over: "You don't know what's in the back that could go up and go bang.
"I could hear the explosions happening in the trailer while I was on the back of the driving unit unplugging it, and the flames were going over my head at the front. As I was just finishing up, I was just thinking 'what am I doing?'"
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Gary's intuition to get his burning trailer away from people and properties as smoke billowed saw him praised by a member of the public, Mimi de Wolf, who he then equally thanked in return.
Admittedly embarrassed by the attention drawn to himself, he added: "I'm always the quieter one who sits at the back, and I'm not one to be out of the shadows and talking to a lot of people. I like the quiet life!"
He also sang the praises of Herts Fire and Rescue: "I was on the back, and I could hear the explosions by my head, and the flames going over. I was thinking how to get the cab away because in there you've got diesel, hydraulic oil and normal engine oil - that could've easily gone up as well.
"The fire brigade were superb. They kept me informed the whole way. I've never been in that position before, but full marks to them for what they do."