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Deadly limo fire: May take days to determine cause, officials say

Deadly limo fire: May take days to determine cause, officials say
California Highway Patrolmen light flares as they investigate the scene of a limousine fire on the westbound side of the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge in Foster City, Calif. (Jane Tyska / Associated Press)

Authorities said it could take days to determine the cause of a fire that killed five people in a limousine late Saturday as it crossed the San Mateo Bridge, southeast of San Francisco.

"This is not something that gets rushed through," said CHP Officer James Evans.

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Five passengers died in the blaze and five people including the limo's driver escaped. The coroner's office has not released the name of the deceased, pending notification of next of kin.

The surviving passengers — Jasmine Desguia, 34, of San Jose; Amalia Loyola, 48, of San Leandro; Nelia Arellano, 36, of Oakland; and Mary Guardiano, 42, of Alameda — were taken to area hospitals where they were treated for moderate burns and smoke inhalation, authorities said.  The driver, Orville Brown, 46, of San Jose, was not injured in the accident.

The vehicle was traveling on the San Mateo Bridge when for unknown reasons, it caught on fire, according to a report from the California Highway Patrol.  KTVU-TV obtained a horrific picture that shows flames engulfing the rear of the limo. It appears the fire started in the back and quickly moved through the limo.

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