MEMBERS of a Prestwick golf club were left in shock last week after a van randomly burst into flames leaving four other members’ vehicles damaged.

Golfers at the St Nicholas Links course on Grangemuir Road returned from a round to find their vehicles gripped by flames.

The owner of the van - who is thought to be a gardener - had a lucky escape after he had returned from playing on Wednesday (May 22) morning.

Staff immediately alerted the fire service to the scene as the fire spread to more vehicles in the club’s car park.

Grant Hood, 44, bar manager at St Nicholas Golf Club told the Advertiser: “It was a members van, he was out for a round of golf. He had finished his round and put the clubs in the back of the van.

“He shut the door and boom away it went, right from underneath him.

“He got away, but his hair was slightly singed.

“Then I noticed about four pops of explosions from there, it could have been gas canisters. It basically wiped out the car next to it as it went on fire and the car on the other side of the van, the body work was all melted.”

“ The fire service thought that it was fumes from petrol in equipment he had in his back, he was a gardener; he had a lawnmower and a strimmer.

“They reckon it’s been so warm so the fumes from the petrol it might have been a closing of the door as a spark of the interior light has caused it and away it went.”

Grant had to hold members back from trying to get in to remove their cars after they returned from a leisurely round to find their motors ablaze.

And he joked how he tried to tackle the major incident developing.

Grant added: “I came out with a fire extinguisher looked at it and went ‘nope, I don’t think that’s going to do’.”

“Some of the members were actually just coming in at the time of it happening, they went to approach their cars to move them and I stopped them and said ‘you can’t go anywhere near that’.”

“The fire brigade got it absolutely spot on and were here within 5/10 minutes. They were so quick and were on the ball very quickly.”

Two appliances were sent to deal with the incident as crews assembled to stop the fire in its tracks.

Incident Commander Watch Manager Jim Cleland said: “We were alerted at 10.37am on Wednesday, May 22 to reports of a fire within multiple private vehicles at a property near Grangemuir Road, Prestwick, South Ayrshire.

“Operations Control mobilised two appliances and firefighters extinguished the flames which had taken hold within three vehicles. The Scottish Ambulance Service gave one male a precautionary check-up at the scene. Crews left after the area was made safe.”