Car Bursts Into Flames; Modesto Woman Says It Wasn’t an Accident

MODESTO -- A Modesto woman says she fears for her family’s safety after their car erupted in flames Sunday morning. She believes it’s the work of a neighborhood bully, retaliating against her family.

Now she’s asking for people to stand up against bullying.

In the aftermath of a fire, it’s not uncommon for victims to ask “why me?” The victim of an early morning car fire in Modesto believes she knows.

“It feels like retaliation,” the woman said.

So much so that she asked FOX40 to not show her face and to call her simply “Cassandra.” For her, the only thing more disturbing than the charred shell of her car is the memory of how it happened.

“I put my garage door down and 20 minutes later is when I heard a big explosion,” said Cassandra.

It happened at about 12:45 Sunday morning, according to the Modesto Fire Department. They responded to Yellow Pine Drive and found the car on fire. The flames were spreading to the fence and detached garage.

“Fire, my car engulfed in flames, my house almost in flames,” said Cassandra.

As she watched from across the street, Cassandra says she was certain who was responsible.

“It’s an act of bulling, and it needs to be awareness, and it needs to stop,” she said.

The mom of three says her oldest son has been bullied by a former classmate for over a year. Three weeks ago she took the bully to court, and that same night, she said, someone busted the windows out of three cars on her property.

“I put a restraining order against a person for bullying, windows busted out, now my car on fire, it’s definitely not a coincidence,” said Cassandra.

She says she has no evidence the bully is responsible for the fire or the broken windows. Cassandra also tells FOX40 she has reported all incidents to authorities but doesn’t believe they’re being taken seriously. She worries about what will happen if the incidents escalate.

“I don’t’ want to wait for what’s next,” she said.

The Stanislaus County Regional Fire investigator tells FOX40 the cause of the fire is under investigation and would not comment on whether or not there is evidence of foul play.