SAN ANTONIO - Witnesses called it an inferno. A Northwest Side home bursts into flames after a speeding car severs a gas line. Two people are found dead in the smoldering wreckage.
Police are still trying to confirm the identity of the woman who was driving the car.
The other person killed was an elderly man who was asleep in the home. Relatives frantically tried to get him out, but the heat and flames were too much.
The family of 88-year-old John Cardenas finds it hard to understand how one car could cause so much destruction. Early Sunday morning it jumped the curb, barreled through the front yard, went through a brick wall and then deep into the house. Along the way, the red Ford Mustang clipped a gas line that triggered an intense fire.
A neighbor's home security camera caught a glimpse of the Mustang’s headlights as it raced up Timberhill Drive. Moments later the terrifying impact igniting a raging fire fueled by natural gas. Firefighters arrived to find the house fully engulfed in flames and the gas line still burning like a giant blow torch.
John Cardenas lived alone in the house, but his son lives right next door. He tried to get to his father through a window, but could not.
“I tried to get in there to look to see, but it wasn't happening. You couldn't do it there was too much smoke and too much heat,” the younger Cardenas told us.
Cardenas also leaves behind a daughter, Rita Gabriel, who is married to a local judge. She wonders whether the female driver of the Mustang was drunk, but police say they may never know.
“I would love to know how it could happen, that a car could come speeding through here like a rocket, like a missile, and destroy somebody's life so completely,” Gabriel told us.
John Cardenas was a retired electrical engineer who'd lived in the home since the 1970's. Friends and loved ones came by the home to comfort each other Monday.
The woman behind this tragedy remains a mystery. Someone found a charm still hanging from a singed car visor. It reads: “Your guardian angel is watching over you.”
Family members wonder if more speed bumps on Timberhill Drive would have helped, but there's no way of knowing. The car first jumped the curb about fifty yards from the house and knocked down a mailbox. None of that slowed her down.