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Vehicle bursts into flames on driveway in Fairweather Green

The owner of a Mini Cooper which mysteriously burst into flames while parked on the drive of his Bradford home is in talks with the manufacturer as an investigation into the blaze continues.

Firefighters were called to Higher Downs,Fairweather Green, at 3.30am yesterday after a fire started under the bonnet of the Mini, which had been parked for about five hours.

A West Yorkshire Fire Service spokesman said the fire was unusual in that it took so long to start after the engine had been turned off.

He said electrical fires in cars usually began while the engine was still warm.

The spokesman said Fairweather Green crews got to the scene just in time, as the brake cable had severed in the heat and the car was beginning to roll towards the house.

He said: “Had we been a couple of minutes later the flames would have damaged the house.”

A Mini UK spokesman told the Telegraph & Argus it was in contact with the owner, who did not want to be named, as the investigation into the cause of the fire was held.

The spokesman said: “We have already established contact with him. We take all incidents involving our cars very seriously and will continue to liaise with the owner as the investigation gets under way.”

The fire came a week after nearly 30,000 different models of Mini Cooper – the Mini Cooper S and Mini John Cooper Works – were recalled in Britain after makers detected an electrical fault with the water pump which could lead cars to catch fire.

The owner of Mini, German car giant BMW, said the recall concerned 235,000 vehicles worldwide.

Safety checks revealed a problem which can cause the water pump to fail, potentially causing the car to overheat. Manufacturers are investigating one case in Britain where a fire is being linked to the water pump, a spokesman said.

Owners are being issued with a recall notice in the next few weeks.

But a spokesman insisted the vehicles remain safe to drive and there is a “very low incidence” of the fault.

“In more extreme cases, it could create a heat build-up in the wiring and some smouldering,” he said.

“Potentially it could cause a fire.

“We are not aware of any accidents or injuries connected with this. The important thing is that when people receive the letter, they simply go to their dealer and get a new water pump fitted if there is a problem.”