PORTLAND, Ore. - Crystal Brown and her husband Earl went into a store at Jantzen Beach on Friday afternoon for a few minutes to pick up some items.
Brown’s mom Beverly Watson, who’s 76 and recovering from chemotherapy treatment she underwent three weeks ago for cancer, was sleeping in the front passenger seat.
Brown left the car running to keep her mom warm.
Within minutes, the car caught fire. Cell phone video of the car Beverly Watson was in show plumes of smoke pouring from the vehicle as fire crews finished putting out the flames.
Brown was in the checkout line when someone ran in yelling a car was on fire in the parking lot. She knew she'd left her car running and her mom was inside.
“i ran,” Brown said. "I have an extra set of keys, i just took 'em off my neck, but it's to my car, because the doors were locked. And her fingers don't work very good because of stage 4 cancer, so she couldn't get her seatbelt off, she couldn't' get the door unlocked, or open.”
Earl Brown saw his wife take off and quickly realized the danger for his mother-in-law.
“I was in shock because you know you expect your car, the motor, to go or something like that,” Earl Brown said. "And it burned. It just caught on fire and it was in good shape. All of a sudden there was a spark under it, then it went to the motor and exploded."
Another man helped Crystal Brown get her mom out of the burning car before it exploded in flame It’s the only car she has.
“But I still have a mom,” Brown said. “You know, she's fought a lot this year with the cancer and the chemo and the radiation. And to just get burned up in a car, you know, I just want to thank the guys that were there to help me.”