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A quick-thinking Ashburton office worker saved the day after spotting flames underneath a station-wagon in Burnett St.
The man rushed across the road, grabbed the office fire extinguisher, checked it was right for the job, and doused the flames with powder.
Traffic was blocked as drivers stopped in the middle of the road to call the Ashburton Volunteer Fire Brigade, who checked the car was safe and washed the engine down.
The car's owner says he turned on the ignition and realised something was very wrong.
No one was hurt in the incident, which drew office workers from nearby buildings.