Fire crews in Contra Costa County responded to a vehicle fire on Sunday morning only to discover a limo burning on a suburban street and 10 elderly women, most of them over 90, standing by and relieved to have just barely escaped with their lives.


The women were headed to a celebration of a friend's 96th birthday party when the driver suddenly ordered everyone out, The Contra Costa Times reported. Smoke and flames suddenly engulfed the cabin as the women, many with canes and walkers, scrambled to get out.

Thankfully, the 2008 Lincoln town car limo was idling when the driver detected smoke in the cabin, so the passengers had a chance to escape. That was not the case last month, when five women in San Mateo County were killed in a freak limo fire after their 1999 Lincoln Town Car burst into flames as it was cruising down a highway.

The limo company chartered by the women in Contra Costa County, TownCar SF, told ABC News affiliate KGO-TV that the fire was caused by a manufacturer's defect in the electrical systems, and insisted the vehicle was well-maintained.

This video is from ABC News affiliate KGO-TV, aired Sunday, June 9, 2013.