Thursday, 28 January 2021

Countess says thanks after car fire drama

Fire engine file picture

A WOMAN has thanked the emergency services for their bravery after her car burst into flames.

Countess Ilona Esterhazy was driving home on the A4130 to Nettlebed at about 12.45pm on November 24 when she saw smoke coming from the front of her Mercedes.

She pulled over near the turning for Catslip and managed to get out before the flames took hold of her car.

She escaped without any serious injuries but fears she pulled a muscle in her arm.

The countess said: “I had been down to Henley to pick up medicine for my husband as he is not very well at the moment.

“I had just got up to 40mph when I heard a bang. At first I thought I had gone over a piece of wood. The next thing I heard was another bang and then I saw smoke coming out of the front of my car.

“At first it was grey and then black and then I saw a flame. When it started to go black I realised there was something radically wrong. I realised I needed to get out of the car as soon as possible and I pulled over to the side of the road so I was out of the way.

“I got out as fast as I could and I ran away from the car because there was smoke going 6ft high. I have never seen anything like it.”

Despite the drama, she was more concerned about her husband, Mark Bicknell, at their home in Nettlebed high street.

Firefighters arrived shortly after 1pm and spent about half an hour tackling the blaze.

The countess said: “By this point I was quite shaken and I had hurt my arm getting out of the car, but that’s neither here nor there.

“The firefighters were really nice gentlemen and I would like to say thank you to them.

“There was another gentleman who was from the ambulance service and he was passing through the area at the time. He was very nice and came over to check I was allright.

“He was called Jordan, but I have no idea where he was from or what his last name was.

“One of the firemen drove me to my house because it was still a fair distance away and I have sciatica.

“I’m not worried about the car because that can be replaced but I am grateful to the firemen because it was a horrific job. They stood there for half an hour and they didn’t know if it was going to explode.

“I would like to publicly thank them for what they did as well as Jordan from the ambulance service. We live in a world where there is a lack of manners and I think when someone does something good they deserve to be given credit for it.

“The car can be replaced, but you think of what might have happened... it could have been much worse. I’m not a religious person but I do have faith and I believe someone was looking after me that day.”

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