Family Of 4 Displaced After Car Crash Sparks House Fire

Family displaced after car hits utility pole causing house to catch fire.


WINSTON-SALEM, NC -- A family of four was displaced from their home after police in Winston-Salem say a car crash sparked a fire in that home Wednesday morning. 

Officials say the car struck a utility pole in the 3000 block of Rosie Street, causing power lines to hit Melissa Enriquez's home and start the fire. 

"We just heard a big loud 'BOOM' sound and we all came outside and we were like "What happened?" The power went off. Then my mom opened the door and she saw there was flames coming out of the power lines," said Enriquez. "It was just all over the place, right in front of my house! 

Thankfully, no one was hurt. However, the house is significantly damaged.

"We lost everything. We lost it all," said a teary-eyed Enriquez.  "I feel devastated but I can't feel sad. I feel even more angry at myself because I can't do anything to try to help out my family to see what we can do to get to another house or try to fix this house, because like I said, it does have a lot of memories."

The Enriquez family lost multiple family photos and other sentimental items. The family's kitchen and bathroom were completely destroyed in the fire. The family tells us they do not have insurance.

"It makes me feel mad," said Enriquez. "Because, you work so hard to get your things, I mean it's not a big house but it's all we had!"

Family and friends spent much of Wednesday cleaning out the house and salvaging as many items as they could.

"They are not going to see us down. We are going to find a way to get back on our feet to try to find something," said Enriquez. "Even though we don't have a lot. Like I said, it's not that much but this was all we had."

Police charged the driver, Joanne Johnson Brewster, with DWI, Hit and Run, and Open Container. Police say Ms. Brewster was not hurt in the accident. According to police, Brewster drove away from the scene after the accident.

"What makes me even more angry is that she just took off. She didn't bother to see if she did any harm to anybody," said Enriquez. "She saw that the house was caught on fire and she didn't know what she was doing. She just left. Not even to say, "Hey get out of the house!"  Nothing!"

Police say Brewer was driving a 2000 Acura TL. The vehicle has since been seized by authorities. Brewster was released from jail on a written promise to appear in court on September 23.

The Enriquez' are staying with family for the time being. The American Red Cross is helping the family as well. However, it could be a long while before the Enriquez family are able to stay in their house again.

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