Good Samaritan gives Hillsborough County family new van after old one explodes

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A good Samaritan stepped up this week to help a family whose car exploded in Hillsborough County.

8 On Your Side was the first to tell you about the Gallup family and their frightening ordeal earlier this week. Ciara Gallop and six of her children were driving through Brandon when the hood of their 1996 Ford E-350 started to emit smoke and caught fire. 

The mother of seven claims her second oldest child, Bastian, began frantically weaving through the van’s various rows of seats and unbuckled his siblings, ultimately getting them to safety just seconds before the van exploded.

“All I really remember is just running out of the van and hearing explosions and stuff,” said Bastian Gallop. 

Now, just a few short days after that fire destroyed the former church van, the family is receiving a life-changing donation, a gently-used 2013 Chrysler Town & Country. 

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“We didn’t have the savings to buy a new van on such short notice. I would have never thought I would be a person who gets to receive something as big and as nice as this,” said Ciara Gallop. 

“I think it’s going to be way better than the old car,” said Bastian Gallop. 

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The woman who donated the van did not want to be recognized but tells 8 On Your Side that she saw the Gallops on the news and immediately wanted to help.  

“God put it on my heart to do it,” she told 8 On Your Side. 

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Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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