Truck crashes into house, igniting a fire in Salem County

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Thursday, March 17, 2016
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The dangerous flames ripped through this home along Dunlap Avenue.

PENNSVILLE, N.J. (WPVI) -- Police say a truck driver lost control and crashed the vehicle into a house which caused a gas main to erupt into flames in Pennsville, New Jersey.

The incident happened just before 5:30 a.m. Thursday on Dunlap Avenue and North Hook Road.

Police say the fire was caused when the 31-year-old driver of the truck, lost control and ran into the house.

The incident ruptured gas lines and sparked the blaze. Officers say the driver hit another car before he crashed into the house.

Rescue, fire and utility crews were called to the scene.

"[The truck] struck the front gas main of the residence which intensified the fire. The thing I think is really important is the officers were here quick and the fire departments," Pennsville Police Chief Allen Cummings said.

Kathy Walters and her husband were asleep inside the house, but managed to get out safely.

Kathy credits her husband with saving her life.

"He's a volunteer fireman, he was a life member, so he knew exactly what to do. He was calm and he took care of the situation and got us out of the house," Kathy said.

Kathy says he woke her up, dragged her out of bed, and got her safely out of the house.

She said, "We are lucky, very lucky, things can be replaced. We are grateful."

Officials say the pickup truck is charred and the house was damaged.

Police say this is the second time the house has been struck by a vehicle.

They say this could have been tragic, but everyone is safe.

Crews closed North Hook Road between King and Churchtown roads to clean up the debris.

It took crews about two hours to the fire out.

There were no injuries.

Police say the driver is facing a number of charges.

It's not clear on why he lost control.

They believe the driver was not under the influence or that the morning fog played a role in the crash.