A MAN has told of the terrifying moment his van was engulfed in a fireball.
Gary Jones said many of his possessions, including camera equipment he uses for work purposes, were lost in a devastating fire which took hold of his vehicle within minutes.
He said a ‘freak accident’ caused the blaze.
Smoke from the fire could be seen for miles as the blaze raged in a field behind the sewage works at Wyke Regis on Tuesday evening.
Two crews of Weymouth firefighters battled the blaze, which also involved a quantity of straw.
Mr Jones, 43, said despite the devastation he had been greatly encouraged by the generosity shown by people who have rallied round to help him.
He said: “It has been very touching the way people have helped me out, there’s a great community spirit in Weymouth.
“It was so scary to see that fire, really frightening.
“The day after, a stranger heard me talking about it and gave me twenty pounds, just like that. Everyone has been amazing.”
Mr Jones parked his van, a long wheelbase high top Ford Transit, in the field while he helps out at a local farm.
He does online marketing for friends and had an array of equipment in the vehicle including cameras and a drone.
He explained how he had burnt some refuse and wood in a metal container outside and the fire had died down.
However a smouldering ember must have blown out and started a fire in a heap of straw, manure and plastic bags next to where his van was parked.
Mr Jones said: “I had left the area for a few minutes to go to the shower block when someone said to me, ‘what’s that smoke?’
"I ran back and saw the fire, it had spread quickly and was affecting the front of the van.
“I asked someone to call the fire brigade and I tried to tackle it with a fire extinguisher. The van was so hot, it felt like it would melt you.
“In the time I had gone to open the gate for the fire brigade to get in the field the whole thing had gone up, just a few minutes. It took four fire engines's worth of water to put it out.
"I was wondering what would have happened if I was inside asleep.
"I’m in shock, all my stuff is gone.”