‘We are really thankful’: View Royal family thanks strangers who saved twin daughters from car fire

'We are really thankful': View Royal family thanks strangers who saved twin daughters from car fire

A View Royal family is grateful for the work of two strangers who saved their 18-month-old twin daughters from a car fire.

On Friday, Adeline and Everly Odony’s grandmother borrowed the family’s car to take the twins to feed the ducks while their parents were working.

Dawnae Odony, the twin’s mother, said they all left at about 9:30 a.m. and about 10 minutes later, the car started to lose power prompting the grandmother to pull over.

Dawnae said that’s when her mother-in-law noticed smoke coming from the engine and frantically called for help.

“When she called, my mom and I had this sporadic where we don’t really communicate well, so there was a lot of panic,” Shane Odony, the twin’s father, said. “So she made me panic, which made my wife panic.”

Dawnae said she started to run down the street to find them before being told the vehicle was on the Trans-Canada Highway near the Burnside off-ramp.

“We actually ended up getting a ride from my father and we jumped in the car and headed to the scene,” Dawnae explained.

By the time Dawnae and Shane arrived, the vehicle was completely engulfed in flames and firefighters were working to put it out.

READ MORE: Dramatic video: Fully-engulfed vehicle fire slows Trans-Canada traffic in Saanich

All Dawnae said she cared about once she got on the scene was ensuring her daughters were safe, and once that was confirmed she noticed how charred her vehicle was.

“One of the crushing parts I think was seeing their little baby doll and I couldn’t even grab it because it was covered in toxins, I couldn’t grab anything,” Dawnae said.

She explained that the car seats her daughters were strapped into looked like they had melted in the heat of the blaze, calling it a terrifying image.

“Those are safety measures and their head was there and it could have [melted], you know,” Dawnae added.

Shane said the twins were pulled to safety by a stranger driving by.

Mark Phoenix, one of the strangers who helped, said he was driving down the highway when he saw the vehicle the twins were in pull over quickly.

“All of a sudden, the lady about my age or older go out and she was frantically trying to get to the back seats,” Phoenix explained. “When I drove past I noticed there was smoke coming from underneath the hood and not steam, so that was enough of a reason to pull over and know that it was a fire.”

He said he struggled with the car seat seatbelts but was able to free both girls.

“We didn’t even get 50 feet, maybe 100 feet from the vehicle, and the first explosion went off underneath the hood,” Phoenix added.

Both Dawnae and Shane said Phoenix’s timing was perfect and they are eternally grateful.

“They risked their lives, that’s crazy, but for us, we appreciate it very much,” Shane said while holding one of his daughters.

Dawnae said she can’t even explain how thankful she was for Phoenix’s help.

“He really honestly was the one that could save those girls’ lives, and my mother-in-law to help him, we are really, really thankful for him,” she added.

Shane said there was another man who pulled over and kept the twins in his truck, safely away from the fire, until both he and Dawnae arrived.

“We would really like to thank him for just stopping and keeping the girls, holding the girls and keeping them safe,” Dawnae said.

The family said it is unknown at this time what caused the fire, but an ICBC investigation is underway.

READ ALSO: No injuries after car fire spreads to grass along highway north of Nanaimo

Mackenzie ReadMackenzie Read

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