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One dead after van crashes into house and catches fire

FAIRFIELD TWP. — The driver of a van that crashed into a house and caught on fire is dead after they were unable to get out of the vehicle after it became engulfed in flames on Sunday.

Before colliding with a house on Drew Drive in Fairfield Township, the driver hit a mailbox down the road, drove through multiple yards and hit a car. When the van collided with the home, a fire sparked in the van that spread to the home.

The family inside the home escaped safely.

Adam Gehler, the homeowner, said after hearing what sounded like a big explosion, he ran outside to see what happened. When he spotted the van and the fire, he grabbed two fire extinguishers to try to put out the fire to help the driver.

"I jumped in the back of the minivan and I went and tried to get him to the back, to get him to lean his seat down and try to spray the fire, and I got the fire out for a minute. Then it just lit up and the cop grabbed me and told me to get out and pulled me out," said Gehler.

Gehler said he and his family had just moved into the home in July and the van hit a room where his grandchildren were playing.

"The grandkids told me when it hit, it hit so hard it bumped them out of their, they have game chairs, and it flipped them out of their game chairs," he said.

Gehler started a GoFundMe account to raise money for repairs to the home and for the cars damaged in the crash.

Police have not identified the driver or determined what might have caused the crash. The coroner's office is helping investigate what may have caused the driver to crash through several yards and hit the house.

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