Truck Slams Into New Jersey Firefighter's House, Ignites Destructive Blaze

The blaze in Pennsville, New Jersey, destroyed the firefighter's longtime home

A pickup truck slammed into a New Jersey home early Thursday morning, igniting a fire that destroyed the house where a firefighter and his family had lived for 50 years.

"(My husband) saved my life, we heard an explosion out front -- a car ran into our house -- and the house caught on fire instantly," said Kathy Walters.

A driver lost control around 4:30 a.m. after colliding with another car and crashed his white pickup truck into Kathy and Hank Walters' home along normally busy North Hook Road near Dunlap Avenue in Pennsville, said Police Chief A.J. Cummings.

The Walters rushed out of their bedroom to find the pickup on fire in their living room. The driver had grabbed a garden hose and was trying to douse the flames but actually made the fire worse, said Cummings.

Luckily everyone in the home -- including pets -- and in the driver made it out safely and no injuries were reported, said investigators.

The home, however, continued to burn for hours. The Walters said the truck likely hit a gas line, causing the destructive blaze.

Investigators administered field sobriety tests to the truck driver who said he swerved into the home to avoid crashing into a car with two women inside, said police.

"Apparently the second vehicle -- which is the truck that drove into the residence here -- might have made an attempt to pass the vehicle, or go around the vehicle, lost control, came through (the yard), over and curb and into the front porch of the house," said Cummings.

Police took the driver into custody despite the field sobriety test coming up negative. He likely faces numerous motor vehicle charges.

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