A WOMAN says she is lucky to be alive after her car burst into flames while she was locked inside.

Holli Thornby, 20, from Bicknacre was driving her VW Golf GTI from her home in Bicknacre to her partner's in Maldon when her car started to rev uncontrollably.

She said: "As a trained mechanic, I kind of knew what the problem was, so I managed to stall the car and bring it a stop.

"As I did, it filled with smoke.

"I could not get out because as a result of what happened, the central locking system had broken, and it locked me inside the car."

Ms Thornby was in the process of moving house, with all her personal possessions, amounting to around £15,000 worth in the car with her as the blaze broke out.

The items included her clothes, sentimental possessions from family members, some of which from people who have passed away, and a green Furry costume.

Furries are a subculture where humans dress up as fictional creatures.

The car itself, who Ms Thornby had affectionately named Gina was a gift from her partner.

With the doors locked and smoke filling her car, Ms Thornby said she felt she would not escape.

She said: "I was sat in the car just thinking, this is it.

"In that moment, ten seconds go so quickly, I just accepted what was happening to me.

"There was no panic, there was no feeling, I was just in a void.

"The only thing in my head was that I am in a car full of smoke, and I was praying something could happen."

Thankfully, a passerby smashed through the window of the car and helped Ms Thornby out, where they set about removing all of her belongings from the car.

She added: "When the window smashed I could not describe it, that was like going through a tunnel without any lights, and then you see a light at the end of it.

"I felt the window smash and I felt like a tonne of bricks had just been removed from my back."

Fellow drivers stopped to help Ms Thornby and firefighters rushed to the scene, however they could not save Gina the Golf.

She paid thanks to all of the people who helped her when they spotted the car in flames.

She said: "Everyone who pulled over and helped were amazing, the fire brigade have been great.

"I cannot thank anyone enough.

"I do not know who the guy is that smashed the window and got me out.

"He genuinely saved my life and he deserves all the recognition I can give him.

"It would be really nice to be able to give him something for saving my life."

In the aftermath, Ms Thornby has left the country with a friend to come to terms with the incident.

She is thankful she will still be able to see her 21st birthday on Saturday.

Mrs Thorny added: "I'm lucky to be alive, and the reality is cars can be replaced, but people cannot."