New Jersey Waitress Helps Man Exit Car Before it Catches Fire

Bridgeton, New Jersey--(WTXF)--Cell phone video taken by a woman at the business next door to the Bridgeton Family Diner and Restaurant shows heavy smoke and flames engulfing a Chevy Impala sitting outside the diner. Just minutes before, 86-year-old Charlie Flowers was sitting inside of it.

"When I looked back I saw that it had caught fire," said Charlie Flowers. He'd just pulled up to the diner for lunch Tuesday when he noticed smoke coming from the hood.

"I was a little nervous," he said. But Charlie sat there for a few minutes. That's when a waitress inside ran out to get him out of the car.

"Angela and a few other employees said get out of the car Charlie," he recalled.

Angela Avenarius was working the register when her coworkers noticed the smoke. She recognized Charlie's car. He's a regular customer.

"He was just sitting there I think he was waiting to see if the smoke would dissipate but he just wasn't getting out the car. The smoke was getting more intense so then I knew I said Charlie I think it' going to catch fire. We need to get you out right now," said Angela.

Angela says within minutes of getting Charlie safely to the front door of the diner the car went up in flames.

"By the time we got under the canopy I saw a flame drop and hit some fluid under the car and within minutes it was just up and flames," said Angela.

Charlie is worried about getting another car but says he's more thankful for Angela and to be alive.

"She got me out of their in time. I would probably be at the burn unit somewhere," said Charlie.