MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A Memphis woman is recovering after her car exploded Thursday afternoon.
It started as a bomb scare, but police said it was actually a freak accident involving cleaning solvents.
Police said Monica Pruitt, a self employed cleaning lady, had just gotten in her car to leave when it exploded.
"She got in the car. It appears the car wouldn't start," said Memphis police director Larry Godwin. "She sat there for awhile and decided to smoke a cigarette. When she lit the lighter we got what I would call, don't want to use the word detonation, would say more of a flash."
"It gives all resemblance as a detonation type explosive device, but the good thing is we are very confident there was no explosive device," Godwin said. "We have not located one."
"I don't know the technical name for it but a bubble gum remover, it was on the floor board," Godwin said. "She had other chemicals and cleaning agents in the back. The fumes were in the car. She is saying there were fumes in the car. She didn't think a lot about them."
Until the combination of the fumes and her lighter caused the explosive reaction that sent her to the hospital."She has first and second degree burns on her arm, neck and face," said Godwin.But witnesses said after seeing her car, they're amazed it wasn't worse."She's lucky to be alive," a witness said.