OAKLAND -- A resident who pulled an 86-year-old woman from her car after the motorist crashed through a garage, severing a gas line and sparking a fire, was being hailed as a hero by authorities Wednesday afternoon.
"If it wasn't for that citizen the woman (driver) could have been badly injured or killed," said Oakland police Sgt. Dom Arotzarena. "She saved her."
The driver, whose name was not released, was not seriously injured, police said.
The elderly woman was driving a white Toyota Camry about noon Wednesday when she rolled through a stop sign and was unable to get her foot on the brake, crashing through the garage of a home in the 8100 block of Hansom Drive, said Battalion Chief Jamie Bowron.
A woman who had either witnessed the crash or saw the aftermath rushed to the older woman's aid and pulled her from the car, Bowron said.
"There was definitely a hazardous situation for the driver,'' he said.
Fire broke out quickly after the gas line was severed, and fuel from the line was feeding the fire, he said.
Bowron said the garage was soon engulfed in flames but firefighters worked quickly and had the one-alarm fire under control by 12:36 p.m. Damage to the garage contents and structure are estimated at $250,000, he said.
Oakland police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said Chief Sean Whent will present the good Samaritan with an award. The woman was not immediately available for comment Wednesday afternoon.
PG&E crews were called to turn off natural gas that was fueling the fire, and crews completed those repairs Thursday afternoon, a utility spokeswoman said. No one was home at the time of the crash, and the home itself was not damaged, Bowron said.