By Derek Schlennstedt
It definitely wasn’t too chilli at this year’s Herb and Chilli Festival in Wandin which ended in more than just heart burn.
Proving that the chilli sauces at the event really are the hottest around, a Herb and Chilli van transporting some very hot chilli sauce burst into flames just before 7pm Sunday on the corner of Warburton Highway and Quayle Road.
Luckily, no one was injured in the incident and the fire was promptly put out by Wandin Fire Brigade.
Clive Larkman, organiser of the event, said that his son had been driving to collect banners and signage which had been placed along the road prior to the event when he noticed the van smoking and promptly pulled over.
Within seven minutes the van was ablaze and fire services had been called to attend the scene.
Both driver and passenger were in the car when it started smoking and escaped harm, though Clive says they were quite shaken by the incident.
Clive says that the fire did put a dampener on the celebrations – as it had been one of the most successful Herb and Chilli Festivals to date, but is thankful that no one was injured.
“Thankfully, no one was injured; they were just a bit shaken.”
“It was on a downer on the day, but the vehicle was insured, no one was hurt and there wasn’t much in the back just a few flags, so it was the best possible outcome of a very dangerous incident,” he says.
Despite jokes that the chilli’s spontaneously combusted, the real cause of the fire has not yet been identified.