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LOWER CHICHESTER TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) – An out-of-control car struck two homes in Lower Chichester, Delaware County, and then exploded, setting one house on fire Tuesday night. Now, police are exploring if a medical event with the car’s driver led to the disaster.
Arrameka Howard was about to go to bed when it happened.
“I heard a big boom. I was sitting downstairs and it was a big boom,” Howard said. “I thought just the porch fell.”
Surveillance video captured the moment the car slammed into Howard’s porch before exploding into the home next to hers. It happened on the 1500 block of Market Street just before midnight.
“You can hear the gas, the smell of gas and we ran out,” Howard said. “And we saw it was a car on the porch and it was on fire.”
Howard and her son, Arrian Howard, both ran out the back door and saw their neighbor’s house on fire. Cellphone video obtained by Eyewitness News showed heavy fire on the first floor. Firefighters knocked it down in just about a half-hour.
A firefighter was hurt in the response and transported to Crozer-Chester Medical Center. The extent of his injuries is unknown.
“It was shattering,” Arrian Howard said.
Another security camera shows just how fast the car was moving before the crash. The speed limit on Market Street is just 35 mph.
“I was in the bed about to fall asleep and that’s when I heard a big screech, boom sound. And then I jumped up looking out the window, thinking they hit our car again,” said neighbor Kelly Freeman.
Freeman soon learned the wayward car damaged her fence and took out two neighbors’ porches, but even worse, went barreling into another neighbor’s home.
“I heard my neighbor say, ‘Get out, get out,’ and that’s when I opened the door and asked them what was going on and they told me to get my family out because a car hit the house and it’s on fire,” she said.
Freeman said her neighbor was able to get out of the burning house safely, but without her cats.
“It does give me a little sympathy, far as the animals, because she lost four cats, but other than that, nobody far as [I know], nobody passing away. So that’s, that’s a good thing,” she said.
There is no word yet if the home will be demolished, but officials said the woman is not allowed back in for at least a couple of days.
The driver of the car was transported to the hospital for treatment. He is in critical condition.
Police say at this moment, the driver is not facing any charges.