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Parents find woman who helped teens from burning car

A group of parents have found a woman who stopped to help their teens after a malfunction caused a vehicle fire.

Video posted on Facebook shows the aftermath of the vehicle burning near Harding Run on New York Avenue in Mays Landing.

“My son was driving his friend’s car in Mays Landing by Harding Run (Tuesday) night around 9:40 (when) they heard a pop,” Olympia Tsiprailidis told BreakingAC.

He didn’t think too much of it until he saw a bunch of lights come on the dashboard, and pulled over, she said.

That’s when he smelled something and one of the teens in the back seat saw smoke, Tsiprailidis said.

“They started yelling at each to get out and run,” she said. “As soon as they got out, the car burst in to flames.”

One woman stopped to help them, but they only knew her first name was Jackie.

Jackie Rodriguez had trouble sleeping after witnessing the teens’ predicament. So, she wound up sleeping late Wednesday. She woke up to missed calls and text messages telling her the kids’ parents were looking for her.

She was on her way to meet her husband at a job when she saw a car catch fire, and kids jumping out and running, she told BreakingAC.

“No one stopped to help them,” she said. “They kept screaming for help. Cars would just go.”

Rodriguez stopped and asked if she could help. One of the boys said his phone died and he wanted to call his mom, so she let him charge in her car and use her phone to make the call.

The car blew up at least three times before the police and firefighters got there, she said, citing several bags of mulch in the trunk.

“The kids were so scared and shaken up,” she said. “I kept them calm because there were no parents there at the time.”

The Buena mom of three said she would want someone to do the same for her. That no one else stopped upset her.

“It was disgusting.” she said. “The kids were so worried about the car and belongings. I said, ‘The car is replaceable they weren’t.'”

The boys are all 17 and attend the Atlantic County Institute of Technology and Oakcrest High School, Tsiprailidis said.

“No one was physically hurt, but they’re all shaken up,” said another mom, Aseealah Davis.

They are hoping to find the woman to thank her for being there for their sons.

This story has been updated to include finding the woman who helped the teens.

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