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SUV crashes into home and sparks gas main fire

OAKLAND — Three children were taken to hospital with minor injuries after the SUV they were driving spun out of control and crashed into a house, damaging a gas line and causing a fire, the Oakland Fire Department said.

The crash was reported around 5:30 p.m. at a home on Sereno Circle, off Redwood Road in the city’s Crestmont neighborhood.

Fire spokesman Michael Hunt said a driver appears to have lost control of his vehicle and was traveling at high speed from Campus Drive, crossing several lanes of traffic before hitting the home, which was unoccupied at the time. Video from a neighbor shows the SUV jumping over a curb seconds before the crash.

But the point of impact, to the left of the home’s garage, meant the impact severed a gas line and started a slow, steady fire.

Battalion Chief James Bowron said the vehicle stalled on top of the gas line, preventing them from shutting it down. Hunt added that firefighters called PG&E technicians, who excavated the street to clamp down the line and eliminate the gas stream at 7:48 p.m.

Two children in the gray Chevrolet SUV were taken by ambulance to local hospitals and another child was taken to hospital by a family member. Bowron said all children were assessed for minor injuries.

“Due to the fact that the vehicle came through Redwood from Campus Drive and crashed into the building with force, we want to make sure the children are okay and they are being monitored,” he said.

About 30 firefighters were dispatched to bring the fire under control, which amounted to putting out the house and allowing the gas to burn out safely. No firefighters were injured and the adults in the SUV were medically assessed at the scene.

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No evacuations were ordered in the aftermath of the fire, which was confined to the crash site. The exact cause of how the driver lost control of the wheel was not immediately clear on Saturday evening.



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