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.