Car crashed into Dillard's in Clearwater - WRBL

Car crashed into Dillard's in Clearwater

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CLEARWATER, FL (WFLA) -

A car smashed into the side of the Dillard's store at Westfield Countryside mall on US 19 in Clearwater Wednesday morning and caught fire.

Firefighters received the call about 2 a.m. Clearwater police units joined them at the scene. When responders arrived, they found a burning car crashed into the side of the building.

Officials told us, they extricated the driver out of the car and interviewed him. Ellis Henry Vaughn, 64, of Clearwater, told officials he was trying to commit a suicide driving into the building at high speed.

He said he left a note at his unlocked house. Police checked at his residents and found the note and Vaughn's next-of-kin notification there. 

Paramedics took him St. Joseph's and later to Tampa General Hospital with burns and injuries. Doctors said his injuries seemed non-life threatening.

Firefighters put out the fire and tried to remove the smoke from the building. A total of 24 firefighting units participated in containing the fire. It took almost four hours and a ventilation truck from Tampa Fire and Rescue to get smoke out of Dillard's.

Responders and mall personnel didn't report any injuries. The mall  will open today at 10 a.m. Dillard's might open its doors Thursday, a store representative told us.

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