LOCH’S Karen Layland was lucky to escape a car fire uninjured recently.

The owner of Saffron On The Hill Dog Rescue was taking three dogs to a vet in Warragul when she began to smell smoke.

“I pulled over to inspect the car and to call the vet nurse to let her know I was running late. I had a bulldog sitting beside me, who I let out of the car with me. I’m so grateful that I did because the flames started where she was sitting,” Karen said.

“I had two dogs in the backseat. I began to panic because they were strapped in. It was horrible, but we all managed to get out uninjured. It would’ve only taken me a couple of minutes to get them out, but it felt like forever. It was a close call, and it has scared me more than anything.”

Unintentionally, Karen had parked in front of a kindergarten.

The kindergarten staff and a passerby assisted her, and the scene was quickly attended by emergency services.

The cause of the combustion is unknown.

“I’m extremely grateful I only had the three dogs with me. Sometimes we take 10 dogs at a time to the vet,” she said.

A Facebook fundraiser has been launched to help Karen buy a new car.

Saffron On The Hill Dog Rescue is effectively on hold until transport is secured.

The organisation requires transport for vet visits, adoptions, and surrenders.

So far, more than $7300 has been raised.

“The community has been amazing. I am so thankful,” she said.

Karen said she is also looking for volunteers to help transport dogs to and from appointments, and to perform house checks prior to adoptions.

For those wishing to donate or looking for more information, head over to the Saffron Pug Rescue Facebook page.