Limo driver tells of horror as women were engulfed in flames


The limousine company said it will do everything possible to investigate and assist authorities in determining the cause of the fire.


Oli Scarff

The driver of a limousine that burst into flames and killed five women has told how one of the women knocked on the partition to complain about smelling smoke.

Orville Brown, known to everyone as Ricky, thought the woman wanted a cigarette or to ask if she could smoke, told CNN.

"I said, 'Well, we only have four more minutes and, you know, the boss doesn't allow us to smoke in the limo," he recalled.

About 30 seconds later, Brown who was uninjured, said she knocked again and when he rolled down the partition, the group was screaming: "Smoke, smoke, pull over."

Four managed to climb through the partition to safety with the flames licking at them, while five including the bride Neriza Fojas perished as the vehicle went up in seconds.

The women were on a bachelorette party and Brown was taking them to the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Foster City for a party where the bride's husband was waiting for her, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

A family member told NBC Fojas was recently married in the United States, but she was also planning a wedding in front of relatives in the Philippines on June 19.

The Valley Medical Center in San Jose said that three women remain in hospital, including Jasmine Desguia, 34, of San Jose and Amalia Loyola, 48, of San Leandro who were still in critical condition.