Ukraine fundraiser - 18 June 2024
Thursday 13 June 2024
 8.9°C   ESE Light Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Emergency services / Bird nest warning after lucky escape from burning vehicle

The Citroen Nemo was completely destroyed in the fire.

A WOMAN who managed to escape with her three-year-old son from her burning car just seconds before it was engulfed by flames is urging local drivers to check under the bonnet for nesting birds before setting off.

Lynn Johnson, from East Burrafirth, was driving on the A971 just north of Weisdale last Thursday when the engine of her Citroen Nemo van started cutting out and eventually stopped altogether.

When she noticed smoke coming from the engine compartment she was initially somewhat reluctant to take her son out of the car on to a busy stretch of road, but she quickly realised that she had no other option.

“The smoke was coming from under the bonnet very quickly and probably because of the strong wind the whole van quickly caught fire,” the owner of the popular West side cake fridge said.

“I had just time to get me and my child out of the vehicle and I didn’t have time to think about collecting anything else that was in the van.

“It was difficult enough to get one child out a car seat in a hurry, I dread to think if you were one of the mums who have a whole car full of kids strapped in. I do genuinely believe that someone faced with such a situation would not have managed to get all out in time.”

She said there had been no indications that something was wrong and that the vehicle was about to burst into flames.

Lynn said the van had been destroyed completely before two fire engines from Lerwick arrived at the scene.

They doused the few remaining flames, secured the scene and told her that judging by the way the fire developed its most likely cause was a bird’s nest in the engine compartment.

Become a supporter of Shetland News


“The only advice that I have to people is to check under the bonnet regularly,” she said.

Speaking on Monday, she said it had taken a few days for the enormity of what had happened to sink in, and how lucky an escape she and her son have had.

“It was very frightening and my peerie boy is quite traumatised by it. Last night he was asking if our house was going on fire…his peerie mind is in overdrive,” she said.

“I was very grateful to the few folk that stopped, and I was really surprised by the many cars that just drove by and didn’t even give a slight look of concern.”

Fire control said emergency services had been called to the scene on Thursday at around 1.30pm. The van was described as “undriveable” and had to be taken away by a recovery truck.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.