A mobile valet company van was engulfed in flames on the A40 in a matter of minutes.

Mahmoud Itani, who runs The Valeters based in Wembley, was a minute away from a fiery end on May 12 as his company van quickly turned into a ball of flames.

The self-employed valet was driving home near Northolt on the A40 when he noticed a surge of smoke inside the van.

Mr Itani said: “I looked at the side and saw smoke, at first I thought it was coming from the outside. But then the smoke was intense, and I pulled over to see what was happening.

“This all happened within 10 minutes of driving to go back home. And then within a minute of me noticing the smoke and leaving the car, the fire had reached the front.

“Once I got out of the van, I saw smoke coming out of a ventilation fan, and when I opened the rear door a flame just shot up.”

Ealing Times:

Damages inside the van

He explained that drivers continued their journeys, and it was not until the fire services arrived that he had people trying to help him out.

Inside the van was every cleaning chemical and tools he invested into the business which started just nearly a year ago.

Mr Itani had plans to expand the family business with another vehicle but is now struggling to afford the costs of the damaged vehicle and ruined equipment.

Ealing Times:

On a GoFundMe page set up to support the business, he said: “I took a few steps back and immediately called the emergency services, and from then I had to stand at a distance watching everything I had build come down in flames.

“A few hours after the fire brigade managed to diffuse the fire.”

He explained that the cause of the fire was believed to be an electrical fault with the steam cleaner but could not be confirmed.

Mr Itani said: “After the fire, I saw my child’s seat all burnt up, and I just felt so much fear, thinking what could have happened had he been in the car.

“It was traumatic.”

Ealing Times:

The van before the fire

Now Mr Itani is trying to raise £6,000 so that he can use his own savings alongside donations to cover the expenses of the burnt vehicle and lost equipment.

He added: “This has been a really difficult decision to make but I’m left with no option but to call for support to help me get back onto my feet and continue providing for my small family.

“As a thank you to those who have donated, I would love to offer you a free Mini Valet once we are back on our feet again, please send your name & contact details to my email info@thevaleters.co.uk so I can contact you once as soon as we are set up again.”

To help support Mr Itani, visit the GoFundMe page.