Police continue search for driver who caused massive Jeffersonville fire


by Gene Kang


Posted on February 6, 2013 at 8:04 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 6 at 8:22 PM

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WHAS11) -- Jeffersonville police are still searching for the driver who caused a massive fire Wednesday morning. A car crashed into a gas main and set off the blaze. The driver left before emergency crews arrived.

Edward Heston lived in the house for 15-years, his home is now a total loss.

"The Red Cross gave us a little check," Heston said.

The army veteran recalls some scary moments as he ran out of the living room with his girlfriend and two dogs.

"The smoke was on top of my head. It billowed so quick. I haven't seen anything like that in my life. Looked like an oil well explosion." Heston said. "I was watching TV and I heard the brakes squeal and something go boom. I looked out the front door and the fire all of a sudden."

"A vehicle had struck a gas main, gas main was leaking and feeding the fire," Jeffersonville Fire Deputy Chief, Josh Thompson said.

Police impounded the car near 9th and Watt Street but the driver is on the run.

"We hope police fully investigate it and they find the person who either owns the car or especially the person that was driving the car," family member, Curtis Wells said.

The accident caused flames to shoot 20 feet into the air. Neighbor, Joe Beaudette, took photos at 2:20 in the morning in a panic.

"I was feeling kind of scared because I didn't know if people were home or not," Beaudette said.

Heston found his dog, Snoopy, with a few cuts and burns, left traumatized by the fire.

"She got cut real bad right there," Heston said.

But some things can never be replaced.

"Pictures and certificates and things like that. My high school diploma is in there you know," Heston said.

No one was injured in the fire. The Red Cross is helping Heston and his girlfriend with clothes and a hotel. He does not have renter’s insurance.

Their dogs are being treated at a local veterinary clinic.

Call Jeffersonville police if you know anything about the driver.