The women were headed to a friend’s 96th birthday party and were still inside a gated community when a fire erupted inside a 2009 Lincoln Town Car; luckily they hadn’t made it out to a major roadway yet, otherwise the results would have almost certainly been deadly. Mary Chapman says she and two of the women jumped out and helped the other passengers to safety because many of them rely on canes or walkers to be mobile.
“The three of us that we thought were more able bodied, we got out first so we could help the other ladies, they were on walkers, they were on canes,” Chapman said.
The car reportedly suffered an electrical fire, though an investigation is ongoing. The owner of the limo service, Claudus Oliveira, said he was shocked at the incident and says the company is careful to keep the cars in good working order.
“I’m speechless, because this is a new car,” he said. “You can see my tires, brand new tires, I keep great records of the cars. This was a fire that happened, an electrical fire. It’s a manufacturer defect.”