Bachelorette Says Party Turned Into a “Nightmare” Thanks to Burnt Party Bus [UPDATED]
UPDATE 3/15/2016 4 p.m.: Officials now say that the Double Dz party bus that burst into flames was operating illegally, and two Pennsylvania agencies are investigating. Go here for the full story.
Every married woman has fond memories of her bachelorette party. There’s the puking, the girlfriends who inevitably get into a fight over something pretty stupid, the embarrassing Instagram photos of silly hats, sashes, and novelty penis cups, and, if you’re lucky enough to be Port Richmond bachelorette Ginene MacMullen, there’s also the party bus that bursts into flames.
On Sunday, we told you about the Double Dz party bus found burnt to a crisp at the corner of Broad and Federal streets in South Philadelphia and that Double Dz owner Blake Harris swore up and down to us that the bus that burned had never taken any passengers. As in never ever. Well, on Monday morning, we spoke with MacMullen, who says that her bachelorette party of 23 used that very bus on Saturday night and that one of her friends was on it when it caught fire.
MacMullen claims that things got off to a bad start with Double Dz. According to the bachelorette, the driver was late, the bus had a very strong marijuana odor inside of it as if someone had just smoked in there, and there was no vodka. A major bachelorette party no-no. MacMullen alleges that part of her $1,400 deal with Double Dz was that the company would provide three cases of beer and two bottles of vodka. The beer was there, but the vodka wasn’t, she says.
Oh, and then there was the fire.
MacMullen says that as the ride in the Double Dz party bus began, some of her friends complained that the floor and the rear of the bus were extremely hot. “You couldn’t even put your legs up against the padding,” she says. “So we asked the driver to turn the air conditioner on, but it didn’t really help.”
Still, the bachelorette party must go on, so they continued their trip, eventually landing at club Down Philly on 15th Street, where they partied the night away. As the wee hours approached, MacMullen and her friend Lucy Sciortino decided to call it a night, so they returned to the bus. MacMullen had the bus drop her back at Le Meridien Hotel, where she was staying for the night, and she directed the driver to make sure that Sciortino got home OK before picking the rest of the girls up at after hours club Recess Lounge, where the party had continued.
“We were on the way to my house in South Philadelphia when the driver just starts panicking,” remembers Sciortino. “I was falling asleep, and he’s yelling at me, ‘Get off the bus!’ It took me a minute. Why is he making me get off the bus? And then I see the smoke coming out from the front, and as I ran off the bus, it just started going up in flames. It was crazy. But nobody threw anything at the bus. Nobody did anything to the bus. It must have had some kind of mechanical problem.”
Sciortino ran out of the bus in such a hurry that she left her purse and phone behind. MacMullen says that some of the other women had belongings on the bus as well that went up in the fire.
“My girlfriend made all these decorations for the party,” says the bride-to-be. “And I lost those as well. Also the custom cups.”
“God forbid we were all on the bus longer,” MacMullen observes. “We had the music blasting. You can’t hear fire.”
MacMullen says that she reached Harris in California and that he told her that he’d get in touch with her when he returns to Philadelphia in two weeks.
“I want all my money reimbursed,” she says. “What type of shit is this? This was an absolute nightmare.”
We asked Harris to respond to the specifics of MacMullen’s allegations.
“Stop reaching and trying so hard,” he told us. “Everyone is fine. You want something to do? Talk about the 13,000 lives saved … Talk about all the drunk drivers I saved. Otherwise, please stop contacting me for gossip.”
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