An unemployed man living from his car has been left with just the clothes on his back and his faithful companion after his car caught fire in Bendigo on Friday.
The man was seeking emergency food and a fuel voucher to attend a job interview when the fire broke out.
Reuel Santos was walking past the corner of MacKenzie and Forest streets at about 11.30am when he saw a man running towards a smoking car.
“His dog was inside the car and he ran over and as soon as he opened it, flames started jumping out the door,” he said.
Mr Santos ran over and helped the man out of his Ford Falcon and said several cars stopped to help control the blaze and call emergency services.
“The man’s hand was burnt and he was bleeding,” Mr Santos said.
Bendigo Fire Brigade senior station officer Tim Bruechert said the cause of the fire was probably electrical.
“The car contained all his possessions,” Mr Bruechert “Tragically, he was left with just the clothes he was standing in.
The firefighter said the man managed to save his dog and only suffered minor burns.
“[But] he was snowed under with grief and shock,” he said.
“He was down and out...now he’s just lost everything.”