Two Fresno women killed in Bay Area limo fire

May 5, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Action News has learned more about two Fresno women who died in a limousine fire in the Bay Area on Saturday.

Bay Area investigators still are not sure what caused the limo to catch fire on the San Mateo Bridge.

Co-workers of the women who died are upset over the deadly fire. One of their friends tells Action News the two women were best friends.

They were planning to celebrate Neriza Fojas' upcoming wedding in the Philippines.

Video shows the limousine on the San Mateo Bridge shortly after the fire was put out. The flames caused extensive damage to the back end.

Five of the nine women inside the limo died in the fire.

Family members say they were heading out to celebrate Neriza Fojas' upcoming wedding. Fojas and four friends didn't get out of the limo in time.

But the Highway Patrol says four other ladies did escape along with the driver.

"The driver was able to get out. Some good samaritans did stop and assist, trying to pull people from the fire but it's just an unfortunate situation. We have no idea what actually happened yet, like I said it's still under investigation," Amelia Jack of the California Highway Patrol said.

Grace Kanu works at Community Regional Medical Center in Downtown Fresno. She worked along side Fojas and another Fresno woman killed in the fire.

"All of us worked on Friday night. It's so hard that on Sunday morning we heard that both of them died," Kanu said.

She says Fojas and their other friend were excellent trauma nurses at CRMC.

"We have an inside joke when it's time we are so busy we say 'is it time for tea?' so Friday, for some reason that was the only night we didn't say 'is it time for tea?' and now she's gone," Kanu said.

Investigators are working to find what caused the limo to catch fire.

In the meantime, Limo Stop, the San Francisco company that owns the limo released this statement: "Limostop Inc. Will do everything possible to investigate and assist authorities in determining the cause of this fire in order to help bring forth answers and provide closure to the victims and their families."

The limo driver told the San Francisco Chronicle, the women knocked on the window during the ride talking about smoke. He thought they were asking for a smoke and told them the owner didn't allow smoking and they had four minutes to their destination. Seconds later, they knocked saying it was smoke and to pull over and that's when the events unfolded.

Friends and family are hoping to learn more answers Monday when the CHP holds a press conference at 10 a.m.

Officials at the hospital say grief councilors are available to help their employees. Action News also talked with the family of the second nurse who worked here. They asked that her identity not be released pending official notification from the coroner's office.

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Action News reporter Mariana Jacob contributed to this report.


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