Cab catches fire in Islington while driver eats kebab

Firefighters battled to stop a black cab from blowing up when it caught fire last Friday.

James Taylor, 56, the driver, was coming out of a cafe in St John’s Street, Islington, having bought a kebab when he noticed the flames.

A fire engine and five firefighters went to the scene at about 1pm and had the situation under control in 20 minutes.

Mr Taylor, who has been a cab driver for 30 years, said: “I stopped and pulled up for lunch. When I got out, I noticed the cab had caught fire. I called the fire brigade right way. Nothing like this has ever happened before.

“The main thing is that I wasn’t in it. You always think it happens to other people, and now it’s happened to me.

“I don’t know which is more of a wreck; the taxi or me.”

Elaine Mulcare, who saw the fire from her home, said: “We just saw the smoke and came down.”

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Firefighters on the scene said that the flames were caused by an electrical fault.

Nathan Cane, from Shoreditch fire station, said: “The taxi was on fire when I got here. It wasn’t hard to put out but we had to stop the fire getting to the fuel tanks because that would cause it to blow up.”