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Two Fresno women killed in Bay Area limo fire

Two nurses from Fresno are among the five people killed when the limo they were riding in burst into flames while crossing the San Francisco bay.

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Two nurses from Fresno are among the five people killed when the limo they were riding in burst into flames while crossing the San Francisco bay.

The fire happened Saturday night on the San Mateo Bridge.

Investigators are trying to determine why the limousine burst into flames while driving over the bridge and why the women were unable to escape.

Police say the passengers were a new bride, 31-year old Neriza Fojas, and 8 of her friends, on their way to a celebration.

Fojas was a registered nurse at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno. One of the other women killed was also a nurse from Fresno.

Mike Maskarich with the California Highway Patrol said, "Tragically, five passengers were unable to get out and succumbed to the smoke and flames." 

The fire started at the rear of the limo and the five women who died were found huddled up against partition that separated them from the driver. 

San Mateo County Coroner Robert Foucrault said, "They were getting away from the fire and that's why they were in the front towards the partition and you could also probably say they were trying to get out as well."

The limo driver helped 4 passengers escape. 

He told the San Francisco Chronicle that he first thought one of the women was banging on the partition to ask if she could smoke. He says he pulled over seconds later after the women knocked again screaming "smoke." 

Authorities say the limousine should hold a maximum of 8 passengers but there were a total of 9. 

The limo's owner says he's cooperating with police. "You know, I'm really shocked, my family's pretty shocked. I'm very deeply saddened." 

Fojas WAS recently married in the U.S. and was preparing for a second ceremony in the Philippines. 

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