Fire Erupts When Alleged DUI Driver Slams Into Temecula Home

Six residents were displaced due to the incident that was reported at 4:57 a.m. Monday in the 43200 block of Corte Almonte in Temecula. The driver has been arrested on suspicion of DUI.

The scene in the 43200 block of Corte Almonte in Temecula, Oct. 21, 2013. (Photo by Freida Hall)
The scene in the 43200 block of Corte Almonte in Temecula, Oct. 21, 2013. (Photo by Freida Hall)

This article was originally posted at 10:55 a.m. Oct. 21 and updated at 11:15 a.m. with arrest information.

A suspected DUI driver slammed his Ford Mustang into a Temecula home early Monday resulting in a fire and gas leak, authorities said.

Six residents were displaced due to the incident that was reported at 4:57 a.m. Monday in the 43200 block of Corte Almonte in Temecula, according to Melody Hendrickson, a spokeswoman for CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department.

Crews arrived to find flames coming from the single story, single family home that the car had lodged into, severing its gas meter, Hendrickson wrote in an incident report.

“Quick and aggressive firefighter action contained the fire to the residence at approximately 5:29 a.m.,” Hendrickson wrote, noting that exterior eaves of a neighboring home were also scorched.

The driver of the Mustang, Gerardo Fierro, 20, of Temecula, was transported to a local hospital for minor injuries and was ultimately arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, according to Temecula police Sgt. Dean Spivacke.

"The fire consumed the garage of the residence and a vehicle in the garage as well as the Mustang," Spivacke stated in a news release.

There were no reports of other injuries but American Red Cross was called to assist three adults and three children who were displaced. Residents of both affected homes were indoors at the time of the collision, Spivacke said.

Southern California Gas Company responded to shut down the gas line and undertake what were described as “extensive repairs” when it was discovered that the home’s underground gas meter had been snapped off.

Southern California Edison was also on scene.

“Commitment time for units on scene will be several hours,” Hendrickson wrote, noting that five engine crews carrying 20 firefighters had initially responded.

A neighbor, Freida Hall, sent photos from the scene. She described a "horrible gas smell."

The family has two small daughters, she said.

"The 5-year-old said to me, 'There's a hole in the wall of my playroom.'"

Joseph October 21, 2013 at 01:58 PM
I wondered what happen, I live a few blocks away and heard the crash. Hope no one got hurt. I hope this was not a drunk driver that caused this.......
SA October 21, 2013 at 02:42 PM
I hope the driver got severally hurt for his selfish act…
Shannan Buffolino October 21, 2013 at 02:56 PM
This is exactly like what I had posted about a week or 2 ago, if anyone remembers..I posted that I called 911 when a car came speeding down our side streets in what looked like they were trying to hurry and get away from someone or something they were doing or did, either to someone, or they were drinking and didnt want a police car that they thought they saw to stop think with alcohol on their breath, but this car had come speeding off of pechanga pkwy onto wolf creek road, never stopped and even turned lights off, and turned down another little street, screeching and I couldnt believe that this car didnt smash into a house, because he NEVER slowed down on the turns, and it looks like this white mustang ran into a house in a cul de sac, and off of a main road, which is margarita, and I wonder if he lives in that area, because otherwise, it seems like he was also speeding to get hidden, and lost control when he came to a dead in.
Aaron Powers October 21, 2013 at 03:32 PM
The driver may have been under the influence of something other than alcohol. After all, who's drunk and still awake at 5:00 am?
William October 21, 2013 at 04:59 PM
Brenda will be along shortly to tell us exactly what happened.
Fred's Town October 21, 2013 at 05:08 PM
This doesn't surprise me at all. This tragedy happened in Paloma del Sol. There are always cars with young adults hot dogging it through the development. Temecula Police Department have just begun started speed traps for these guys. This was very close to my home. I knew it was a matter of time before something like this happened. Thank God no one was seriously injured.
Steve Newman October 21, 2013 at 05:27 PM
William- why don't you tell us exactly what happened and save Brenda the time?
Mom x's 4 October 21, 2013 at 06:19 PM
@william ...that is awesome! Haha!!!!!!!!!
Denise Fierro October 21, 2013 at 06:26 PM
Just a piece of advice to the ones with rude commentary. Maybe you should use your internet time to learn how to spell and use correct grammar before you make an ass of yourself wishing ill will on people via the internet.
Localcrimenews.com October 21, 2013 at 07:43 PM
Denise, I See The Last Names Match. Are You His Mom, Aunt, Sister, Etc That Can Put Some More Light On This Story? Otherwise It Looks Like He Is The Ass That Was Drunk, Underage, Driving And Crashing. Hope Their Is More To The Story So He Isn't Making Himself The Ass.
ChrisG October 21, 2013 at 09:23 PM
@local. Very funny! Thanks for the laugh.
TheTrippyHippie October 21, 2013 at 11:06 PM
Seriously Denise are you defending this scumbag. The best part of that idiot ran down his mommas leg.
KB October 21, 2013 at 11:16 PM
Yes...Assuming the story is accurate, I for one am so sick and tired of these scumbag/dirtballs running around Temecula. If the story ends up accurate I hope the perp gets some serious time.
Steve Newman October 22, 2013 at 12:04 AM
Mom x 4- you think william was funny- don't get out much do you. His statement was as ignorant as yours.
JJ Mclure October 22, 2013 at 09:23 AM
typical drunks in Temecula
Alek J Hidell October 22, 2013 at 10:40 AM
not typical to hit the gas line that hard. These tract houses have a cement filled pipe sunk into the slab to protect the gas heater lines and he STILL knocked it down. Seriously a banzai suicide effort to get home and into bed....Bravo!
Chester October 22, 2013 at 10:44 AM
I think we found out Brenda's last name, Newman
CommCare October 22, 2013 at 12:34 PM
The gas meters on these houses are exactly where the car hit. They are also old enough that they would sheer off quite easily. There is no protection from such an even like the lines inside the garage for the furnace and water heater.... maybe a good reason the plant a tree.
Steve Newman October 22, 2013 at 02:18 PM
No chester- wrong again.


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