FIRE crews rushed to a pensioner whose car burst into flames on a main road near Romsey.

William Drake was driving from Danes Road onto Salisbury Road when he spotted white smoke seeping through his dashboard.

The 88-year-old's red Ford Focus was soon engulfed in flames after he quickly pulled over near Shootash at around 10am.

William, from Lockerley, said: "After I saw the smoke coming out if the dashboard I thought I have to get out of here.

"I lifted up the bonnet after I pulled over, which I was told I shouldn't have done, but I was not injured.

"I lost my walking stick as well as my phone from the fire and car is irreparable now. I think it was an electrical fault, but I have not had an issues with it before.

"The car was even due to go for an MOT on Tuesday and I said to Pete, who does it for me, to not bother."

The retired pig farmer added: "I would like to thank the two firefighters who were keeping the traffic moving as well."

William's daughter, Dianne Lane, said: "I got a phone call from a friend on Facebook at around ten in the morning, who had seen William's car was burnt out and I jumped in my van and whizzed over there.

"When I got to Salisbury Road my dad had already been taken home and he did not seem scared. He won't let this incident get him down and it is only a car which can be replaced.

"This was totally out of the blue and my dad always stays on top of maintaining the car because he is independent; he needs to be able to drive around and if he ever notices anything wrong with the car he is straight down the garage."

A Hampshire Fire and Rescue spokesperson said: "Two fire crews from Romsey and Redbridge attended after receiving a call at around 9.51am. One hose reel was used to extinguish the fire.

"The stop call came at 10.50am and the Environment Agency were informed about the incident."

The car burst into flames on September 29.

Hampshire police have been contacted for comment.