Quick-thinking Whaddon farmer saves nursery school children after car catches fire

Roger Huffer, farmer with Nessa Taylor, Manager of Bumpkins Nursery Roger Huffer, farmer with Nessa Taylor, Manager of Bumpkins Nursery

Thursday, July 3, 2014
8:31 AM

A quick-thinking farmer has been praised after he pushed a smouldering parked car away from a nursery full of children before it caught fire.

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Roger Huffer took action last Friday after spotting the car with smoke pouring out from under the bonnet outside Bumpkins Day Nursery in Bridge Road, Whaddon.

Michaela Vaux, who owns Bumpkins Nursery, said: “It was quite scary and could have been a really serious incident if Roger hadn’t been there to save the day.

“We looked outside and saw smoke billowing out from the bonnet of the car. Roger ran in and pushed this smoking car out of our car park and down the drive until it was in a safe area.”

The car eventually caught fire and had to be put out by a crew of firefighters from Royston fire station.

Ms Vaux said: “Roger owns the farm where our nursery is based and has been our landlord for 14 years. It’s great for the children as he takes us out in the fields and shows them his tractor – they call him ‘Farmer Roger’.

“On this occasion we were really lucky he was in the yard at the right time – had he not been there the situation could have been a lot worse.”

Nursery manager Nessa Taylor was able to keep the children distracted while the drama was being played out in the car park.

She said: “We can’t thank Roger enough for his quick thinking and ensuring all the children and staff were away from any danger. No-one was hurt and the children were unaware of what was happening in the car park.”

Mr Huffer said: “I was just in the kitchen when I looked out of the window and saw smoke billowing out of the bonnet of a parked car. I was very shocked, but I went straight out there to try and get the car away from the nursery.

“A lady had parked the car and ran inside the nursery to get a fire extinguisher. But she left it unlocked so I managed to drag it around seven or eight metres away from the nursery building. The tyres hadn’t burnt out yet luckily and it was on a downhill slope, so it actually wasn’t too difficult.

“Luckily I don’t think any of the children were aware of the bubbling flames, because that would have panicked them. They only saw the fire engine, which they probably enjoyed.”

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