Man loads car with propane tanks, drives it into apartment building

FORT PIERCE, Fla. (WFLA/WPTV) – A 31-year-old man drove a car full of propane tanks into an apartment building on Tuesday in Fort Pierce, police said.

The car exploded and residents fled.

Police said the driver, Carl Philbert died at the scene. They said he was targeting a woman inside the apartment after they got into a fight.

“He intended to do damage, he raced his car into this apartment where five people were, intending to kill them, blow the place up, or create some kind of havoc,” said police spokesman Ed Cunningham.

Police said Philbert put four tanks inside his car before crashing it into the building on Palm Avenue.

Her 3-year-old son was also inside the apartment. He was reported to be OK.

Residents started helping others escape the fire.

“I heard the impact, it was pretty hard, shook the house, vibrated the couch, the walls. Everything,” said neighbor Chris Garcia.

In all, 18 people were displaced. They are being assisted by Red Cross. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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