Jump to content

Burning MG Midget and Fire extinguisher.

Recommended Posts

On the way home from the Motorist at Sherburn in Elmet last night I came across the sorry sight of a burning MG Midget, its elderly owner and his wife standing forlornly nearby. The nearside front wheel and tyre were well alight and the entire front wing and bonnet area were burning.  As that is the carburettor and exhaust side of an A series engine I am assuming a petrol leak may have been the cause. The car had earlier been at the Motorist along with a few other Midgets. There were already a few cars had pulled up to "help", and there was nothing I could do other than offer sympathy, so I drove by. 

And that is the problem. There was nothing I could do, as I don`t carry a fire extinguisher.

I started thinking about "what if". What if it had been my car?. What if I had an extinguisher and could have tried to save the poor guys car?

I have determined that I ought to carry an extinguisher. Not a weedy one the size of an aerosol can, but something that might stand half a chance of putting out a fire. Don`t know where I will put it, but even if carried in the boot it would be better than nothing. 

It is one of those items you hope you will never use, but boy I wish I had  one last night. May not have been able to put it out, but I would have tried, which is better than just driving by.



PS  Also spoke to the owner of a Red long door TR2 who was not in the club, but stopped me to ask if there was a Yorkshire based club. I recomended he join the Register and explained that  although national we had regional registrars. Hopefully a new member.

Edited by Ralph Whitaker
Link to post
Share on other sites


there has been chat before on this subject so worth a search.

the new type - fire stick sold by the club shop looks good 


google for some videos.

Motor Sport UK Require a foam media AFFF


and I have a 2litre handheld always carried.

However. One of our racing clan had a bulkhead fire on the way home from an event (suspected electrical) and a small fire extinguisher ( like mine) wouldn’t touch it. 

as part of his post fire rebuild he had a 4.5litre plumbed in system fitted. 

I appreciate your sentiment to help but once a car is as alight as you saw with the midget a hand held extinguisher will not put the fire out.

carrying a good extinguisher may help for your car if you notice it quick enough.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ralph,

car fires are very frightening. At least the elderly couple got out.

You could put an extinguisher on the floor in front of the driver seat. That way it would be under your legs and not interfering.

What size!! it depends what you're trying to tackle. A small 'hard substance' (upholstery etc) could be tackled by any size  and type of extinguisher

Petrol needs CO2  or foam

As for your tyre fire - any thing would work but you need a lot of it

Practicality suggests something like a 2Kg powder unit. (not for the tyre fire tho')

But do not knock the guage off - it makes a terrible mess in the car.




Edited by RogerH
Link to post
Share on other sites

As petrol being pumped to feed the fire is something to be avoided, it is worth fitting a readily accessible electrical master switch to one's car.

Even a TR with standard engine-driven pump (TR2-TR4A) can feed a fire if the engine continues to run and the fuel leakage is after the pump.

PI cars, or those with an electric pump, need to stop the pump in the event of a fire.

Ian Cornish

Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought a couple of the fire-safety-sticks, one  for the TR and one for my daily driver.   Much less bulky than the conventional 2kg foam extinguisher I used to carry and with longer actuation time too ( no gauges to knock off either ! ) The video looked convincing to me so the foam extinguisher now lives in the garage.  

 I hope never to have to use them but you never know.  The TR has a battery master switch under the dash so there would be no need to open the bonnet to kill all the power.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We had cars lined-up side-by-side for a show, the organisers had helpfully erected Gazebo/canopies over the cars to protect us from the hot equatorial sun... one turn of the the key of an older MG and we had a fuel fire in the middle of the group, under the plastic tenting..... luckily extinguishers nearby and crisis averted. Since then, a Fire Extinguisher is a requirement for entry in any of our club events.

Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, RobH said:

 The TR has a battery master switch under the dash so there would be no need to open the bonnet to kill all the power.

Unless the engine is still running. I would hope your master switch also disconnects the ignition circuit.

This sort does:


Edited by Lebro
Link to post
Share on other sites

It is a requirement for motor sport where the master switch is accessible to marshals but I see no real need for road use Bob, the ignition switch does that.  If I'm able to locate and operate the somewhat hidden master switch I can also operate the ignition key - in fact you would probably do that first anyway in the case of a fire whilst driving.  


Link to post
Share on other sites

In 45 years of TRing I'm yet to see a vehicle fire. I think they might be pretty rare.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

Please familiarise yourself with our Terms and Conditions. By using this site, you agree to the following: Terms of Use.