Woman on fire crashes into Broward Sheriff's Office substation in Pembroke Park

Man saves woman who crashed into building with flammable liquid in car

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Ben Mendez was painting outside of the Broward Sheriff's Office substation in Pembroke Park when he heard a loud crash Monday.

A Toyota Camry crossed a small garden, crashed through a window and into the government building at 3201 W. Hallandale Beach Blvd. When Mendez ran inside to see if he could help, he saw a woman on fire. 

"She was on fire already, so I'm assuming she lit herself on fire," Mendez said. 

Mendez pulled the woman out of the car and put out the flames as fast as he could. He said he tried talking to her, but she was "babbling" about her romantic life.

The woman was slowly walking naked when firefighters arrived and covered her. She didn't struggle. 

Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue Michael Kane said she suffered third-degree burns all over her body. She was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood.

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"When I see people in need, I try to help," a tearful Mendez said. "She was on fire. That kind of traumatized me, the poor lady."

Firefighters later found an accelerant inside the crashed car.

BSO spokeswoman Joy Oglesby said it was "quite troubling" that the woman intentionally crashed into the building. Oglesby said the incident remained under investigation. 

About the Authors:

Terrell Forney joined Local 10 News in October 2005 as a general assignment reporter. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but a desire to escape the harsh winters of the north brought him to South Florida.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.