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Mechanical Failure Source of Deadly Limo Fire

limo-fire-origin-12The California Highway Patrol released it’s final investigative report yesterday into a May limousine fire on the San Mateo bridge that killed five, including Felomina “Fyla” Geronga, 43, of Alameda.

The limo was carrying nine women, including another Alameda resident, who survived, and the driver, and was travelling to a bridal shower in Foster City on the evening of May 4th, 2013.

The vehicle left Alameda at about 9:00 p.m., and investigators believe the fire began on the San Mateo bridge between the toll plaza and the high rise.

Investigators blame a catastrophic failure of the air ride suspension system, and a cracked floorboard, which allowed the driveshaft to make contact with the body, generating friction and heat, and ultimately, though the crack, igniting the interior carpet and upholstery.

The fuel tank was intact and still contained half a tank of gasoline.

Investigators could not say when the cracks in the floorboard were created.

The vehicle was a Ford, model year 1999 produced in July of 1998, and originally owned by Hollywood Limousine in Los Angeles. It had been reported stolen and stripped in 2004, but L.A. Limousine Repair is no longer in business, and no repair records are availabl

Investigators noted that there were no systems or devices in place to break windows to speed an emergency exit, but that there are no state or federal regulations requiring such devices.

The California Highway Patrol also released a redacted audio recording of the 9-1-1 calls that night.

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