Dramatic video recorded July 4 shows the moment a car filled with propane tanks and driven into an apartment complex started on fire and exploded.
Kathy Toledo, who lives next to the Palm Court Apartments in Fort Pierce, Florida, pressed play on her cell phone when she and her husband heard a loud crash next door. The couple ran outside to see what the commotion was and saw a car on fire inside of the apartment complex.
That car was driven by 31-year-old Carl Philbert, an immigrant from Haiti who police said had a history of domestic trouble with his ex-girlfriend, who lived inside the apartment.
Philbert killed himself in the crash, but nobody else inside the complex suffered any injuries, police said. His ex-girlfriend was inside of the unit with her family and saw him racing toward the apartment in his car. Once the car entered the living room, the family — including her 3-year-old nephew — were able to evacuate safely.
In the dramatic video, the car is seen on fire and Toledo’s voice is heard saying, “There was an old lady in the apartment upstairs right above the car and (he) tried to carry her out.”
Just as she says that, a large explosion occurs to the shock of those standing nearby.
“That whole building’s going to catch on fire,” she says before yelling an expletive at firefighters as she asks them to put the fire out.
Toledo’s husband Pablo was one of the first people on scene and ran toward the blaze to help an elderly woman stranded on the second floor of the complex.
“I just ran up there and grabbed her,” he told NBC in West Palm Beach. “There was a bunch of smoke and fire but I just ran up there, grabbed her, and put her over by the grass. Then I tried to help out with the car, but by that time, no fire extinguisher was getting it out.”
The fire left eight units damaged and 18 people displaced from their homes.
Police said that Philbert lived at a motel in the Fort Pierce area and had a job at a grocery store. To learn more about him and the incident, click here.