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Crime

Impaired driver crashes into St. Catharines home, starts fire after hitting gas line: police

Police say an allegedly impaired driver crashed into two homes and started a fire after hitting a natural gas line in St. Catharines.
Police say an allegedly impaired driver crashed into two homes and started a fire after hitting a natural gas line in St. Catharines. Don Mitchell / Global News

An allegedly impaired driver plowed into two homes in St. Catharines and ruptured a gas line on Monday, starting a fire, according to Niagara police.

A 63-year-old woman is facing two charges after her Ford Fusion is believed to have reversed out of a driveway in the area of St. George and Facer streets just before midnight, reportedly crashing into a nearby house, striking a natural gas line and igniting a blaze.

The woman is then accused of driving forward and hitting another home across the street, police say.

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Following the crash, Niagara police evacuated the neighbourhood as a precaution while emergency crews began extinguishing the fire and capping a gas leak.

The 63-year-old from St. Catharines has been charged with impaired operation of a motor vehicle and operation of a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration over 80 milligrams.

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Police say there were no injuries, but damage to the gas line, car and second home is estimated to be about $67,000.

The accused has had her licence suspended for 90 days and will make her first court appearance on Aug. 30.