Punta Gorda woman, her daughter escape fiery flames on I-75

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Tia Dahl and her 2-year-old daughter feel lucky to be alive after escaping their fiery car on Interstate 75.

Dahl was able to pull over into the emergency lane Tuesday just before her engine suddenly stopped working and her 2013 Kia Optima burst into flames.

“As I opened my door, the whole underneath the undercarriage just went up in flames,” Dahl said. “I ran to the back, I didn’t even unbuckle my daughters bottom. I ripped her out through the top and I took off down I-75.”

Dahl ran down the highway, away from the flames, calling 911 and waving for help.

“Once I was actually calmed down, the fire marshals talked to me saying ‘You know you realize you’re lucky to be alive,'” Dahl said.

It’s unclear why Dahl’s engine gave out or why her car caught fire at this time.

Dahl hopes her experience will serve as a reminder for drivers to get their cars checked out for any possible issues.

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