Just a month after five nurses were killed in a limousine fire in Northern California, ten women, some in their nineties, escaped unharmed from a smoking limousine that quickly became engulfed in flames. The women were celebrating a ninetieth birthday and were sitting inside the limousine outside the birthday woman’s home. One of the passengers, Mary Chapman, sixty-three, said it was just after 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 9, when white smoke emerged from the partition separating the driver and passenger compartments. The doors of the vehicle were open at that time. Chapman stated she believed that the open doors are what saved the women.
When the women saw the flames they moved to the back of the vehicle and assisted each other out the door. A caregiver was there assisting the women as well and some relied on their walkers and canes to exit the limousine. About fifteen minutes later flames erupted. All of the women had relocated into the home by that time. The fire completely destroyed the driver and passenger compartments.
The May 4 fire on the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge over San Francisco Bay trapped five women in a limousine that was engulfed in flames within minutes. The California Highway Patrol has not yet concluded its investigation of this fire. Industry experts have said that the stretch limousine industry is poorly regulated because of a lack of funds and this could be a major contributing cause of the recent fires. According to Claudius Oliviera, the owner of the company that operates the limo, the 2008 Lincoln Town Car that caught fire Sunday was well-maintained and had about 80,000 miles. Oliviera blamed the manufacturer and said faulty wiring was responsible for the fire.
10 women, many in 90s, escape Calif. limo fire, www.palmbeachpost.com June 10, 2013
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