Family Makes Lucky Escape After Car Suddenly Catches Fire In, “Of All Places,” A Safari Park

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A lion yawns in its enclosure on August 23, 2011 at the "ZOOM" zoo in Gelsenkirchen, western Germany.      (PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images)

A lion yawns in its enclosure on August 23, 2011 at the “ZOOM” zoo in Gelsenkirchen, western Germany. (PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Of all the places for Helen Clements’ car to suddenly catch on fire with her two kids in the back seat, it had to be the lion enclosure at the safari park.

Clements told Sky News she and her kids were taking in the spectacular up-close views of big game at Longleat, in Wiltshire, England, over Easter weekend when she noticed what she thought was steam rising from under the hood.

“Then it turned to smoke,” she told Sky. “So we thought, ‘okay, I think we had better alert somebody.’”

Clements sounded her car’s horn, getting the attention of park rangers.

“Then the flames came out of the car, and were obviously coming into the car,” she recalled. “We then thought we had better get out the car, but obviously the rangers were saying get back in the car.” Lions roam freely inside the enclosure, and visitors drive slowly through the area and can see the big cats walk right up to their cars.

Here’s an eyewitness account of the drama:

Read the rest of the story at CBS News here.

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