Vehicle hits Clairemont home, prompting evacuations due to gas fumes

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A vehicle plowed into a Clairemont home and sheared off a gas meter Wednesday afternoon, prompting evacuations of nearby residents and the hospitalization of a police officer exposed to gas fumes.

Crews were sent at 3:28 p.m to the 5000 block of Barstow Street, north of Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, where a vehicle struck the garage of the single-story home, releasing fumes from a broken gas meter, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

“Once I opened my window and smelled the gas, I was kind of like, ‘Oh, there’s an issue,’” nearby resident Elisia Archer said.

Police closed roads and evacuated residents from the affected home and a nearby apartment complex and advised people to avoid the area. Residents were able to return to their homes just before 7 p.m. except for the damaged home and a neighboring property.

Officials have yet to say what caused the crash, but believe the driver may have suffered a medical issue.

“There’s nothing you can do, right?” Archer said. “The pandemic makes it worse. You can’t go sit at a restaurant. You’re putting yourself in danger by walking around with other people.”

A San Diego police officer responding to the scene complained of having breathing difficulties after inhaling fumes and was transported to Scripps Memorial Hospital for treatment. The fire department said one other person was also taken to a hospital, but their condition was not disclosed.

San Diego Gas & Electric was notified to repair the broken gas meter.

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