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Man escapes I-95 car fire unharmed: ‘We literally just watched the car burn up’

(Ali Shabazz (custom credit))
Updated: Oct. 30, 2018 at 10:59 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A Richmond man narrowly escaped after his car caught on fire moments after he jumped out of it.

Incredible video from the situation was captured on I-95 Monday afternoon. It led to a backup around 3 p.m. as first responders rushed to the scene.

"We literally just watched the car burn up on the side of the highway,” 22-year-old Ali Shabazz said.

Shabazz said he was taking a friend to work when something didn’t seem right.

"I just saw smoke coming from the turn knobs where you control the heat,” he said.

He pulled over near Route 288 and checked the hood but nothing was there.

"That's when he said the fire is inside the car,” Shabazz said.

They hopped out and called 911. Shabazz tried fanning the flames with clothes from the car.

"It just kept getting worse and worse,” he said.

The two ran some 20 yards away trying to escape the blaze.

"The sun roof was open, so we seen the flames come through the sun roof and outside the windows because the doors were open also. Then after that, the door caught on fire, then we saw the whole car go on fire,” he said.

Shabazz’s father raced to the scene to see his son.

"On 95, I got to the Ruffin Mill exit a couple of exits away and traffic was at a halt and I knew it was because of his accident. So I got on the shoulder and drove to get there,” Shahid Shabazz said.

His son was safe and sound but the car is a loss.

"As long as he's alive and safe, we can figure the rest of things out,” he said.

Somehow fate decided the 22-year-old would escape the flames unharmed.

"That was a scary video. I've seen cars like that on the side of the highway but to see my son's car, that was a little different,” Shahid Shabazz added.

"I was probably away for 15 seconds. That's how quickly it kept spreading,” Ali Shabazz said.

No one was injured in the blaze. Chesterfield Fire investigated but was unable to determine what caused the Jetta Volkswagen to catch fire.

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