VIDEO UPDATE: State police say a vehicle crashed into a home on Maple Avenue in East Bloomfield late Wednesday night. On impact, the car burst into flames, igniting the house. The driver was airlifted to the hospital but the family living in the home escaped injury. Troopers say the house is a complete loss. The crash is under investigation.
BLOOMFIELD — State troopers are continuing to investigate why a driver slammed into a residence at 7 Maple Ave. on Wednesday night, destroying the house and his vehicle in the process. But troopers said Thursday night that charges are pending.
A GoFundMe online account has been set up for the Melville family living there, who “miraculously were able to escape without harm,” according to Maggie Lyden of Florida, a sister of one of the occupants, who is leading the fundraising effort.
The man, a U.S. Marine veteran, and his wife have a 2-year-old daughter, Lyden said in the appeal. She did not respond to a request for additional comments.
As of early Thursday evening, donors helped the family exceed their goal of $7,500, raising more than $8,800.
“We praise God that they are OK, however they have lost everything,” according to Lyden’s appeal. “Please help us help them rebuild.”
Troopers responded to the home near the intersection of Main Street and Maple Avenue shortly before 11:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The vehicle ignited a devastating fire, troopers said. The driver of the vehicle was removed by passing motorists, troopers said.
According to the occupant’s sister, her brother and his wife were thrown into the air after the vehicle hit the wall of his bedroom and struck a propane tank, causing an explosion.
Daily Messenger news partner, News 10NBC, reported that the driver, who on Thursday troopers identified as Ross Thompson, 35, of Naples, was flown to the hospital for treatment. Thompson was treated for minor injuries and released, trooopers said. The passenger walked away from the crash, according to the News 10NBC report.
Names of the people involved had not been released as of early Thursday evening.
Next-door neighbor Anne LaPaglia said she was watching TV at the time of the crash.
“I heard what sounded like thunder — four booms,” LaPaglia said.
When she looked out her window, she saw a truck on its side, right in front of the house, she said. The truck was burning and she saw a passing car stop and later learned the driver got out and helped, she said.
Shortly afterward, LaPaglia said she continued to hear “more booms.”
“The next time I looked out, the whole thing was engulfed in flames. The truck, and then it caught the house on fire,” LaPaglia said.
The incident was shocking and scary, she said.
“It was just terrible,” LaPaglia said.
By Thursday morning, motorists driving by slowed to look at the devastation left behind. Most everything that was in the house is charred black. Crews also put up yellow police tape to keep passersby from entering the site.
Ron Hawkins, who lives up the road from the scene and owns the Depot across the street from where it all happened, said the home had been decked out for Halloween, which also caused drivers to pause and look as they drive by. At least one pumpkin in front of the home appears to have survived the blast.
Hawkins said this is one of the oldest houses in the neighborhood.
“There’s a lot of history with that old house,” Hawkins said.
Includes reporting from Daily Messenger news partner, News 10NBC
State police are investigating after a car crashed into a home and sparked a massive fire.
It happened on Maple Avenue in East Bloomfield around 11 p.m. Wednesday.
According to troopers, something caused the driver to lose control and fly off the road. The car rolled several times before crashing into the home and then exploding. The blast sent flames 100 feet into the air.
Two men inside the car were able to get out. The driver had to be airlifted to the hospital. Troopers say he is in stable condition. The passenger walked away from the crash.
The family inside the house also got out safely, but their home is completely destroyed.