Brand New BMW Catches Fire After Owner Burns Incense For Good Luck

A man in eastern China whose brand-new BMW caught fire less than a day after he bought it may have set it alight himself when burning incense, it was reported.

The unnamed driver in Yangzhou, Jiangsu province, said he had paid nearly half a million yuan (nearly US$80,000) for the car hours before it went up in flames on Tuesday, news website reported.

The price the man said he paid for the car was twice the cost of the same model in the United States, largely because of the tariff and tax imposed on imported cars by the Chinese government.

Witness accounts varied as to how the fire started, but when firefighters arrived the entire front section of the vehicle was alight. It took the firefighters more than 10 minutes to put out the fire.

Videos posted online by people living in the same residential compound showed the man and a woman covering the car with a red banner, laying out dishes containing sacrifices and setting up joss sticks as tall as an adult human, as part of a ritual to thank gods for blessing them with a new car and to wish for further good luck.

“(I) just lit some joss sticks. It was very far (from the car),” the driver said in one video, from an unidentified source. “Twenty minutes later a neighbour told me my car was on fire,” he added. Photographs of the car suggested it was beyond repair.