A Ceres family was startled and its home threatened by fire Thursday morning when a driver crashed into the fenced yard, got out and fled. The Acura TL sedan caught fire, and the residents were instructed to evacuate while firefighters put it out.
"I was lying in bed and heard a boom, went to the backyard and it wasn't in the backyard," said Jenny Odom, standing on her front porch as her children stayed across the street with their aunt. "Came out here and the car was crashed in our yard and then it just started smoking and fire."
Though all people in the Hackett Road home were safe and accounted for, Odom initially told The Modesto Bee that she had not found her Chihuahua mix, Daisy, who apparently fled the house and yard in the confusion. The Bee later learned that Daisy was found hiding in the house.
The initial report about 10 a.m. was that a car had crashed into the yard at 2102 Hackett, Ceres Fire Department engineer Billy Finley said. While firefighters were en route, they got an update from police on scene that the car was on fire and threatening the structure. "So it got upgraded to a house fire until we were able to get on scene and verify that it was only a car with a little fence and tree involved."
At the request of police, a firefighter used a saw to open the trunk. Finley said that was to ensure nothing surprising, like a body, was inside.
The Acura had not been reported stolen, Ceres Police Department spokesman Sgt. Greg Yotsuya said in the early afternoon.