TV star Jessica Rowe thanked the « quick-thinking » bus driver who first alerted her to a horror fire that was beginning to devour her car.
Terrifying details of the incident have emerged, in which the outcome could have been « much more serious » without the actions of the viewer.
The television star was shocked and her daughter Alegra « heartbroken » after they were forced to flee their burning Volvo on a busy main road on Thursday afternoon.
Last night, Rowe’s manager David Wilson told news.com.au: « After a very dramatic afternoon that shook everyone, everything is fine tonight at Rowe Overton’s house. »
Celebrities like Tracy Grimshaw, Shane Jacobson, Chris Bath and Patti Newton have all hit the veteran star’s Instagram page to send messages of support. Even British celebrity Trisha Goddard said, « Damn it ».
Rowe was outside her daughter’s school in Sydney’s eastern suburbs to pick up the 14-year-old when the car suddenly went up in flames on one of the area’s main streets, New South Head Road.
The incident happened around 3:45 pm when a school bus driver, Miev, first saw smoke « rising » from under the Volvo XC 60 and « jumped out of his bus » to stop Rowe and tell her to get out of the car.
Rowe’s husband, Channel Nine newscaster Peter Overton, « was in a hurry » to be with his troubled family and was absent from the news at 6pm Thursday night.
« Jess told me earlier that if the school bus driver hadn’t jumped out of his bus and walked over to Jess’ car and told them to get out now, it could have been a much more serious result, » Wilson told news.com.au .
Rowe was grateful to Miev because when the car was devoured, « they were now a safe distance ».
« The whole family is very grateful to him for his quick action and courage. If he approaches a car that is clearly in serious trouble, there is also a risk of harming himself and that is amazing. »
Pictures show the car completely burned out after the vehicle was extinguished by fire fighters on site. It was later towed.
Fire and rescue and ambulance were on site with the police. It is not known what caused the fire.
« You’re all fine and home now. There was a real fear the car might explode, » Overton told 2GB.
« When Alegra called me just to see her utter state of despair, I can’t wait to see her. I don’t care about the car. »
In her Instagram post on Thursday evening, Rowe thanked Miev for his bravery, along with the police and paramedics who assisted on site.
« Mev got us out of the car, called the fire department, cleared the street, and then stayed to drive us home, » said Rowe.
She also thanked the tow truck driver and the mothers and fathers who « stopped to help ». She ended the note with the hashtag #craphousewife.
Overton told 2GB that he would « find out the guy’s details and contact him to give him a big thank you ».
« Everyone at work could see that I was absolutely traumatized when I saw my 14-year-old absolutely heartbroken on FaceTime, » he said.
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