WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) – Firefighters battled a gas-fed fire in Warwick after a pickup truck crashed into a Toll Gate Road home.
“[The truck] actually hit the house exactly where the gas meter was,” said Warwick Fire Chief James McLaughlin. “Normally what we would do, if we have a dwelling fire…we’d shut off the electricity and the gas. Obviously, we couldn’t do that because that’s where the point of impact was.”
The crash was reported around noon Saturday at 110 Toll Gate Road. Crews had to dig up the street to access the gas line and shut off the supply.
Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian told Eyewitness News none of the home’s residents were hurt; the truck’s driver was taken to the hospital for minor injuries. Animal control officers said one cat died in the fire and two others were unaccounted for.
Warwick Police said there is a suspicion the driver of the truck was drunk. He was given a field sobriety test, but as of Saturday evening, police were not releasing the results of that test and had not charged him.(Story continues below)
The home’s owner, Donald Morash, said he was originally told a neighboring home was hit. A short time later, he learned the truth.
“Obviously I couldn’t believe it,” he said. Morash said four adults and two children lived inside the home, and one of the families was at an Easter egg hunt at the time of the crash.
Now, they’re being assisted with temporary housing by the Red Cross. Morash said he believes the home will be torn down.
“[He] messed up people’s holidays and lives indefinitely,” Morash said of the driver. “He should be ashamed of himself.”
Neighbors reported losing power for several hours after the crash, which also took down a telephone pole.This story has been updated. An earlier version incorrectly listed the address of the home. Eyewitness News reporter Julianne Peixoto contributed to this report.