HOUSTON – Talk about celebrating the New Year with a bang.
An estimated crowd of 1,000 people witnessed the trunk of a Dodge Charger filled with fireworks igniting after witnesses say someone apparently tossed in a lit firecracker.
It happened shortly before midnight on New Year's Eve in a parking lot in the 14600 block of Beechnut near Highway 6 in the Mission Bend area.
"When I saw it, I was like, 'Man I can't believe this is actually happening,' said Jonathan Garza, one of the many eyewitnesses. "There's people, like everybody crowded around, screaming, like, 'Oh my God.' They're recording on their phones and stuff."
Garza used his cellphone to record the video attached to this story. He estimates there were more than 1,000 people who witnessed the impromptu fireworks show and he said it was chaos.
"They had closed it for a couple of seconds to like, kill the fire. But as soon as they opened it up, a couple of seconds later, more fireworks stared popping and popping off and going everywhere," Garza said. "People were just screaming, and shouting, and yelling."
At one point, someone does try to close the trunk to try to extinguish the flames but that doesn't do much good.
And what's left after a night of fireworks and near-disaster is a parking lot strewn with discarded containers and cardboard boxes following a New Year's Eve celebration that literally went up in flames.
"It was something to remember," Garza said. "That's gonna be something I never forget right there for New Year’s."
A source inside the insurance industry says damage done to the Dodge Charger could be covered by the owner's policy, but the company would likely try to recover any costs if they can prove someone purposely set off the fireworks.