1 person dead after car hits GR home, starts fire

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids police say a driver died after crashing into a home, setting the car and the house on fire Sunday morning.

Authorities said the crash happened around 2:30 a.m. at the corner of Lake Drive SE and Fuller Avenue SE. The driver hit a natural gas line running to the home, which caused the flames.

“You know what a torch looks like? It was just flying out of here,” Emily Mannor said as she described what the flames looked like.

Mannor lives at the home with roommates and says she was not there at the time of the crash, but pulled up shortly after it started. She says at least an hour went by as fire crews worked to put out the flames. 

“My room is right above it, so I was glad that everyone was okay, but I was worried,” she added.

Mannor says the flames never made it to the interior of the home and all of the roommates made it out safely, but there is significant damage left behind.

“There’s a hole in the basement over here and then in this room. The windows are broken and the stuff on the ceiling is cracked and I’m not sure if that’s just the plaster or what it is. In my room, the carpet is pretty wet and the ceiling is (dripping),” Mannor said as she pointed to damage on the left side of the home.

Mannor says this is not the first time something like this has happened. Just weeks ago, she says she watched another driver run into a telephone pole near the intersection.

As of Sunday evening, there was no word on when the home will be repaired. The roommates say they’re grateful their lives were spared.

While officers work to determine if alcohol played a role in the crash, they said speed may have been a factor. The name of the driver had not been released.

Nearby roads in the area were shut down as crews worked to remove the debris from the crash.

>>App users: Photos from the scene

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