AMHERST – A group of partygoers from Amherst didn’t quite get the limo ride they expected Friday night. The group was on their way to Moncton for a birthday party when the limo they hired caught fire.
“We were in Memramcook on our way to Moncton,” said Daren White, one of the occupants of the limo. “We were going to a 40th birthday party. There was about 16 or 18 of us.”
White said the back tire of the limo blew out and ended up catching on fire.
“We thought we hit something because we only heard the one clunk,” he said. “But as soon as we heard it, (the driver) pulled over. It would have only been a few minutes later that he came and opened up the back door and told us all to get out and that the vehicle was on fire.”
As the occupants climbed out of the vehicle, White said he and the others could smell the burning rubber. He said the driver ushered everyone to the side of the road, away from the smoke.
“He told us to stay off (to the side) because trucks were still going by and he put the four way flashers on but it was dark,” said White. “We tried to throw snow on it. (The driver) had the fire extinguisher and took that to it but it kept growing. Eventually, the Memramcook Fire Department came.”
White said once the fire department arrived, the occupants of the vehicle huddled into the rescue vehicle while the fire fighters extinguished the burning vehicle.
“They put it out and then a second limo came and we were on our way to Moncton to continue with the birthday party,” he said. “Everyone was very professional.”
White admitted that he even wrote a letter of appreciation to the company for the quick thinking and response from the driver.
The back end of the vehicle however, sustained the most damage.
“The fire was contained to the back,” said White. “Both doors, the only way out, were both burned. It was lucky that he got us out so quickly because there were no other exits. Because the (limo) was customized with a big carving in the middle, we wouldn’t have been able to climb out the front.”
The group were picked up by other limo and taken to their destination. By the end of the night, White said he and the others from Amherst had been in three different limos.
“It took a taxi and a limo to get us to Moncton because we had rented the biggest limo they had and on the way back, we were in a hummer limo.
“You got to finish the party,” he said with a laugh. “You just got to keep on going.”