NORWALK, Conn. – An SUV with two passengers crashed into a home on Van Buren Avenue in Norwalk Thursday morning. The mother and her young daughter, a toddler, were taken to Norwalk Hospital for evaluation, according to Norwalk Fire Department Dep. Chief Edward Prescott.
The impact at about 10:37 a.m. filled the two family home at 15 Van Buren Ave. with an "explosive level" of gas, forcing the evacuation of three people. Van Buren Avenue was promptly closed by Norwalk Police and Prescott estimated that it would remain closed at least until 12:15 p.m.
The toddler in the vehicle was in a child-safety seat, in the back seat of the SUV, Prescott said. Both the mother and her child were out of the car when fire crews arrived. The baby was crying and both were conscious. Both had facial injuries and Prescott said there may have been internal injuries.
The SUV barreled through a light pole and a street sign at the corner of Maple and Van Buren avenues, across from Norwalk Hospital. It went through a chain-link fence and across the lawn of 13 Van Buren Ave. It clipped the electric meter on that house and then smashed into the corner of 15 Van Buren, where the gas meter was, damaging a significant portion of the basement wall, Prescott said.
The basement and the house filled with gas, "definitely at explosive levels." A man was on the first floor and a woman and her child were on the second floor. They were evacuated.
Firefighters aimed fans at the house and at about 11:30 a.m. began blowing air into the ground to dissipate the level of gas in it. The odor of gas hung in the air.
Gil Taborda, owner of the damaged home, said the female driver and her child appeared to be OK and he was just glad no one was hurt. "My main concern is the people who are there," he said. "Of course people are worried but the main thing is the passengers in the car."