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Explosion destroys classic Triumph Stag in Gloucester house fire

By The Citizen  |  Posted: October 31, 2012

  • Remains of the Triumph Stag

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FRASER Aubin had a lucky escape when his classic car exploded moments after he was under the bonnet.

But while he escaped with his life, the blast decimated the £10,000 Triumph Stag and the garage of his home in Stansby Crescent, Churchdown.

The blaze happened at 10.40am yesterday when crews from the Gloucester South and Cheltenham West were called out following reports of smoke billowing from the property.

Neighbours by the house, in Church End, were evacuated while firefighters brought the situation under control.

Fraser's son Jason said: "My dad was working on the car in the morning, it was his pride and joy.

"It was ticking over and he heard a massive crack from under the bonnet, and then he noticed some flames.

"He got some water and chucked it on, but the flames spread.

"Shortly afterwards the petrol tank exploded."

Luckily Fraser had moved away from the vehicle by this point and was not hurt.

The car, which was of great sentimental value to Fraser, was completely destroyed by the blaze which consumed the entire garage, loft and part of the house. "He loved that car," added Jason.

"He was always out in the garage working on it."

"That's £10,000 gone now, I don't know what we're going to do."

Smoke poured from the garage and those living nearby were forced to stay indoors due to the fumes.

One resident, who has lived in a nearby home for the past 10 years, said: "I went out into the street to see what was going on and there was smoke everywhere, I had to go back inside because I couldn't breathe.

"I couldn't see any flames but there was so much smoke."

People stood in the street watching the drama unfold.

Peter Coulter was walking by shortly after the blaze. He said: "The smoke was everywhere, it must have done so much damage to that house.

"I think the roof of the actual house has gone in now too. I really feel for them, it must be awful."

Fire crews were soon joined by others from Gloucester North and Cheltenham East.

Police were also on the scene and closed the road and also a section of St John's Avenue while the blaze was tackled.

The route was reopened at around 12.20pm.

The full extent of the damage caused by the blaze is not yet known, and it is uncertain what condition the walls of the family home have been left in.

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  • Stuartl2010  |  March 02 2013, 5:27PM

    I drove past this house the other day and nothing seems to have been done apart from remove the other dilapidated vehicles from the front drive which must be a huge relief to the rest of Stansby Crescent. Strange that an insurance company would delay work for so long as they must be paying rent on another house. Better get moving soon before the Ninja Mice from the sheds behind the house destroy the rest of the building just leaving a pile of dust.....

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  • Stuartl2010  |  January 23 2013, 8:39AM

    As a classic car owner and enthusiast I have sympathy for Mr Aubin but cannot fathom how it has been decided that a 'mouse infestation' caused this fire. If the fire had been small and extinguished promptly then yes, maybe you could determine this was the cause but as there is little but a shell left I cant see how you can tell. If however it was suspected the wiring had been chewed then anyone leaving a battery connected let alone attempting to run the car would be stupid. Aside of this I agree with Steve Thomas that for an insurance company to pay £10,000 for a Stag it would have to be either gold plated an agreed value policy. Stags are cheap to buy these days. I would also say that I did a job in Stansby Crescent last year and always felt sorry for the neighbours as the outside of the house looked like a scrapyard and spoiled the look of the road.

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  • Steve_Thomas  |  November 07 2012, 7:04PM

    I can understand an electrical short caused by a mouse chewing the wiring loom. I owned a Triumph myself once (2,000 Mk II) and the wiring was very poorly protected (i.e. by a couple of 35-Amp fuses), and prone to burning up. No-one suggested he set the car alight deliberately, or that it was due to any lack of mechanical skill on his part. But the article says "Fraser's son Jason said: "My dad was working on the car in the morning, it was his pride and joy. It was ticking over and he heard a massive crack from under the bonnet, and then he noticed some flames." So either someone's fibbing or Mr Aubin was at least within earshot of the car at the time of the conflagration, and he had been working on it, which is all anyone has inferred. I wouldn't imagine the insurance would pay anything like £10,000 for the car, especially if it was SORN and didn't have a current MoT, unless Mr Aubin had an agreed value policy, or it was declared on his home contents policy. I have a Rover 2600 Vanden Plas myself (there's less than 30 left on the road). The battery is on a float charge in my kitchen, so little danger of an electrical fire there.

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  • KerryLewis  |  November 07 2012, 4:30PM

    I didn't want to put out what I've been told by the family as to be completely honest it's none of the public's business to know. And they suspect the, how the reporter put it 'crack', but was actually an electrical 'bang' was caused by faulty wiring in the car, which once again was not the fault of Fraser, but a mouse infestation, mice which may have came from the sheds behind the house. As the people who own the sheds have had complaints about this problem numorous amounts of times. And Mr Aubin was NOT, I repeat NOT, working on the car at all! You're all very quick to judge, and you really have no right unless you know the people involved. And here's something you readers can judge on, not only did this reporter make a false report on the story, but at the scene bugged the frantic family for information and went to proceed to take photos of the house, whilst not only the house was still on fire, but the whole family were stood outside watching their home with all their possessions burn to ashes!

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  • Matt1006  |  November 07 2012, 3:55PM

    KerryLewis - you say "the cause of the fire is still unknown, but it definitely wasn't any fault of Fraser's" - how do you know it wasn't his fault, if the cause is still unknown? You also say "this is a completely different story to what had ACTUALLY happened" - so were you present when the fire first started? If not, how can you know what actually happened? And which parts of the article / other comments are "false accusations"? If you're going to openly challenge the accuracy of a report, how about backing it up?

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  • KerryLewis  |  November 07 2012, 2:01PM

    This story is TOTALLY twisted. I am friends with Jason, Fraser's son. And this is a completely different story to what had ACTUALLY happened! The cause of the fire is still unknown, but it definitely wasn't any fault of Fraser's! I think it is utterly insensitive to make false accusations, whilst the family are going through torment. Mr Aubin has not only lost his pride and joy, but the family have to move into somewhere safe, whilst their family home is being completely stripped and rebuilt. The last thing this family needs is hassle from the news reporters!

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  • Glos_Lad34  |  November 06 2012, 11:37AM

    What a waste of a classic car, that's a nice car as well.

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  • DaveyofCrnwal  |  November 01 2012, 12:46PM

    Would I be right in guessing that the car had the early petrol injection system that has fuel lines containing petrol at 150 pounds per square inch? Leaks can be a recipe for disaster and they did fit crash switches to stop the fuel pump if the car was in an impact. Diesel fuel is a lot less hazardous and one usually has the benefit of better mpg. Sadly the car is now a "project car". If it is to be rebuilt why not convert it to turbo-diesel? A Mercedes Sprinter engine would be grand if it would fit.

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  • bonzaharris1  |  October 31 2012, 9:17PM

    Perhaps they were already out on another job ?

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  • cheltdav1  |  October 31 2012, 9:10PM

    Why were fire engines sent from Gloucester South and Cheltenham West when there is a firestation not one mile away?? More wasting of tax payers money???

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