10 women, some in 90s, escape Calif. limo fire

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A passenger in a limousine that began smoking with ten women — some of them in their 90s — inside before catching fire says the doors of the idling limousine were open.

Sixty-three-year-old Mary Chapman said on Monday she thinks that was a key factor in helping all the women get out safely.

The Sunday morning fire in Walnut Creek comes a little more than a month after five nurses were killed while trapped inside a burning limousine on the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge.

Chapman says the limousine that caught fire on Sunday was idling when white smoke began coming from the partition between the driver’s and passengers’ compartments. The women were heading to Sonoma County to celebrate one of their 90th birthdays.

Chapman says flames erupted about 15 minutes later.

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