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Monson Woman Escaped Burning Car During Tornado

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Power lines down on a car, sparked this fire in Monson Wednesday afternoon. (photo by Alana Gomez)

Power lines down on a car, sparked this fire in Monson Wednesday afternoon. (photo by Alana Gomez)

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MONSON (CBS) — A young woman from Monson was on her way home from Fitchburg Wednesday evening when she got caught in a tornado and her car caught fire.

The woman, who was only identified as Chelsea, talked with WBZ-TV’s Alana Gomez Thursday morning about the incident.

She said as she was leaving Fitchburg Wednesday afternoon her mother called and told her about the tornado watches and to drive carefully. She saw some lightning in Worcester, but wasn’t phased. Then she turned on the radio and heard the tornadoes were coming up the Mass Pike, so she decided to get off the Pike and onto Route 20.

She described the scene saying there was one car ahead of her and several behind her. There wasn’t any rain or hail, she said, unlike what people in her hometown of Monson reported seeing.

Then the scenery started to change.

“Everything was spinning, like leaves and branches and trees. And I thought, oh God, there’s really a tornado,” Chelsea said. “There’s nothing I can do.”

Chelsea and Nancy talk with WBZ-TV’s Alana Gomez

She said she thought if she could drive as fast as possible to get out of it, that would be the best decision, but then the car in front of her stopped and she had to, as well.

The car’s windshield caved in and then the roof did when a power line fell on the car.

“I don’t remember any noise, any rain, anything like that.”

But she did see fire. It was coming up the side of the car and Chelsea knew she had to do something, and fast.

She unlocked her door and opened it, but there was a giant puddle outside her door.

“So I said, OK, this is it, and I jumped into the middle of the street and nothing happened. Then I ran away from the car cause the car caught on fire. And I ran to this SUV and knocked on the window and this woman let me in her car,” Chelsea explained, breaking down in tears at the end.

Chelsea’s mother, Nancy, told Gomez that the woman brought Chelsea to Monson where Chelsea ran from relative’s home to relative’s home until a cousin drove her home to her parents.
“And I just want to thank her. I didn’t get her name, I don’t remember any of that. But she brought me home,” Chelsea said between tears.
Nancy said she’s not a religious person, but “He watched over her and there was a reason she was brought home to us.”

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