A Porsche 918 Spyder worth more than a million Canadian dollars went up in flames at a Caledon gas station on Sunday night, prompting laughter from its wealthy owner.
The vehicle is owned by millionaire and Dragons’ Den investor Michael Wekerle. His publicist told CityNews he bought the car in Toronto, paying US$900,000 for it on Sept. 3.
“Michael was finishing filling his tank, two drops apparently leaked out of the nozzle and the car was set ablaze,” his publicist revealed in an email.
“Witnesses say the gas overflowed and ignited from the exhaust heat.”
“The damaged vehicle was towed back to his 200-acre country farm in Caledon where it now sits. The car was completely totaled.”
The luxury car maker will only produce 918 units of the hybrid super-car worldwide, and Wekerle’s was one of only five in all of Canada.
Witnesses shared photos on social media of the dream car on fire at the station at Hurontario and King streets.
Mobile users click here to watch the video.
WARNING: Video contains some offensive language.
Investigators credit the gas station attendant with quickly pressing the emergency stop button, which shuts down all power to the pumps, preventing a potentially disastrous explosion.
“Suddenly, I heard a noise. I just turned around and looked and there was a fire going on,” said attendant Prasath Patkunasign. “I was scared that the whole thing was going to blow up.”
Patkunasign said Wekerle was also instrumental in keeping the public safe, yelling at nearby motorists to back up, and preventing civilians from nearing the area.
“He was standing over there screaming and was telling everyone to stay away…he was stopping cars,” he said.
Once the fire was safely extinguished with no one hurt, his response was markedly more relaxed.
“He was laughing,” Patkunasign revealed.
Just saw my dream car exploded and I’ve never been so heart broken pic.twitter.com/Ffkv7ZrJZk
— david perry (@davidandperry) September 29, 2014
— Jenn -coach/co-owner (@cartwheelsjenn) September 29, 2014
— Jason Low (@Jasonsgca) September 29, 2014
With files from Sarah-Joyce Battersby