FORT PIERCE, Fla. — A car exploded inside a Florida apartment building on Tuesday after being driven by a man who police said was targeting a woman inside.
“He intended to do damage,” Fort Pierce police spokesman Ed Cunningham said. “He raced his car into this apartment where five people were, intending to kill them, blow the place up or create some kind of havoc.”
Also inside was the woman’s 3-year-old child.
“I’ve never seen anything like that. That was crazy,” witness Kathy Toledo said.
Toledo and her husband saw the immediate aftermath of the crash and the fast-growing fire.
“My husband ran over with a fire extinguisher to try to put the fire out,” she said.
Pablo Toledo raced to save an elderly woman who was gripping the rail upstairs.
“She wouldn’t move, like she wouldn’t let go of that railing,” Toledo saod. “So I just ran up there and grabbed her.”
“I heard the impact,” resident Chris Garcia said. “It was pretty hard, shook the house, vibrated the couch, the walls. Everything.”
He grabbed his wife and children.
“The building is bursting into flames,” Garcia said. “So I told them no, it’s on fire, we’ve got get out of here. ”
Moments later, while Kathy Toledo was recording cellphone video, there was an explosion.
“The fire, it just got to where we had to step back, and then a few seconds later, it blew up,” Garcia said.
Police said the driver, 31-year-old Carl Philbert, died at the scene. Authorities said he and the woman inside got into a fight on Tuesday morning and when he showed up, he didn’t like something he saw.
Police added Philbert has a history of domestic trouble with the woman.