EXCLUSIVE: ‘My mum jumped out of the car’: Fashion blogger’s mother leaps to safety as her $100,000 Mercedes Benz explodes into flames causing Christmas chaos at Australia’s busiest shopping centre
- Thousands were evacuated from Chadstone Shopping Centre after explosion
- Mother of Insta-star Rozalia Russian jumped from her smoking Mercedes
- Ms Russian said it was ‘our little Christmas miracle’ no one was hurt in the blaze
- Investigators believe the blaze was caused by a vehicle fault; could lead to recall
The mother of a prominent fashion blogger is lucky to be alive after her luxury car burst into flames at Australia’s biggest mall.
Rozalia Russian said it was a ‘Christmas miracle’ her mum Helena was unhurt when her Mercedes Benz exploded in a Melbourne carpark on Thursday afternoon.
Helena had just entered the Chadstone Shopping Centre carpark near David Jones when she noticed smoke pouring from the vehicle.
She jumped out of the car and ran to call for help as the C-class wagon blew up.
Influencer Rozalia Russian (right) said her mother Helena was lucky to be alive after her Mercedes Benz C-class burst into flames
Ms Russian (left, and right with her husband, Melbourne hospitality identity Nick Russian, said ‘all that matters in life is having your loved ones healthy and safe’
Chadstone shopping centre – Australia’s busiest – was evacuated after the Mercedes Benz C-class wagon exploded in flames
Investigators believe the explosion was caused by a vehicle fault.
Ms Russian, a lifestyle blogger, said: ‘In life all that matters are having your loved ones healthy and safe and this has been our little Christmas miracle.
‘Materialistic things can be replaced and are irrelevant’.
She said she was glad no one else was injured in the catastrophe.
Eleven cars were damaged as a result of the blaze and thick smoke quickly spread throughout the car park.
Thousands of Christmas shoppers were evacuated as the blaze spread through the carpark
The end: pictures have emerged of the carnage after the explosion on Thursday
If the cause is confirmed to be a fault, it could lead to a recall by BMW.
Ms Russian, who has 230,000 Instagram followers, has previously told media how her family fled the Soviet Union for Australia with just two suitcases and just $250.
‘My mum, Helena, tells the stories of being pregnant with me and queueing all day for meagre rations,’ she told Whimn earlier this year.
‘Mum had to decide whether to eat to provide nutrition for me or feed my starving brother. ‘
Ms Russian said she was glad no one else was injured by the catastrophic vehicle fault
More than 50 Victorian firefighters were called to the scene
The fire prompted the evacuation of the level-one David Jones car park and the closure of all other levels, the shopping centre tweeted on Thursday.
Ms Russian has previously told how her family fled the Soviet Union for Australia with two suitcases and $250 in 1991
‘She gave the food to him and would feel the hunger pains rumble around her pregnant body.’
The family were granted permanent residency and raised their daughter Rozalia in Melbourne.
Ms Russian is married to prominent hospitality identity Nick Russian and has two children.
She is a brand ambassador for Adairs, Anton Jewellery and Malvern Central shopping centre.