I headed out the backdoor the same time Tim headed to where the sound most likely came from. I said "I'll bet someone ran into (with their vehicle) the house".
Sure enough, there sat a very confused (not to mention drunk) hispanic male behind the wheel of a Ford Sport Trac type pickup truck. He was stuck inside the wall of our back/spare bedroom!!!! This man's wife (I suspect) and two small children standing outside of the truck. I yelled (in English) "is anyone hurt"? Blank stares, and I then notice one of the children is crying.
I run back into the house to grab the phone and Tim's headed outside. He saw the front end of this truck INSIDE the house!! He off handedly says "I smell gas". I was thinking fuel from the truck. Hmmm. I've dialed 911 and they are trying to asked me a bunch of questions, "is anyone in the truck hurt?", "is anyone in the house hurt?" "No, it doesn't appear that anyone in the truck was injured, definately no one in the house hurt".
Then the odor hits me!!! OMG, this guy has ran right over the gas meter!!!!
Okay, okay, so I've lost the connection with the woman at 911, I shut the alley gate, and open the house door to get my 5 best, furry friends out of the house! Jeeeeeeeeesus, the gas smell is very strong. I dial 911 again, they say "yes, ma'am we have multiple units on the way."
Just then a police officer comes around the corner and say "ma'am you have to leave the area right now!" "NOT without my dogs" I say! The police officer says, "ma'am, I don't care about your dogs'. Uh, WRONG thing to say to me!!! I yell back at the nice policeman, "WELL I DO!"
It was so amazing, I opened the back door of the car and all five jumped in like ~ wooohooo ~ where'we going ma! I started up the car, (risked) running into the house to get my purse & smokes (I know, I know), and proceeded to back out of my driveway, drive a block down into 'da hood to park in the shade of a small tree. Of course, I let the car run with the AC on. But my mutts were all panting and milling about (as much as five large dogs can mill in a Honda Accord) inside the car. I know they were still expecting to go somewhere.
The crowds were gathering all around the perimeter of the scene. The scene included, three fire engines, one EMS unit, one Special Operations truck (firemen's tools), and multiple squad cars. The firemen were preparing to hose down the house if there were an explosion (yikes). They were coming in and out of the house, opening windows, shouting orders. The power to the house was shut off and finally the gas was shut off too!
Now about the guy driving the car and his wife and two children ~ they left the scene before the police arrived! Why am I NOT surprised. Thank goodness a young man that is living with our "attached" neighbors watch this sweet family walk and pointed out to the police where they went. Others even told the police where they lived! Right down the street!
They found them. I have no idea if he was given a ticket, hauled away, or what, but they at least found the guy! EMS really wanted to know if anyone had been hurt. I can't imagine driving so irresponsibly with small children in the vehicle.
Once the gas was shut off they proceeded in extracting the truck from our home. It had pieces of the gas meter stuck up under it, bricks all over the hood, shees.
It's Friday afternoon now, still no hot water (plumber's work did not pass the city inspection). The maintenance people are going to install a couple of temporary small electric water heaters for both our unit and our neighbors unit.
A neighbor from down the street said there was talk that this guy was making a u-turn at our intersection (or trying to), lost control (no doubt) of his vehicle, then BOOM!
Life goes on as usual in 'da hood. We are all safe and only slightly inconvenienced.
We are all safe.