STOCKTON -- A house abruptly caving-in is not something fire crews see every day in Stockton, sending the homeowner and his son, several feet into the ground.
“There was a 3.5 to 4-foot drop in the floor,” Stockton Fire Battalion Chief Lane Healy said.
A shift in the foundation caused the decades-old house to collapse.
“The house could have swallowed him up most likely. That plus the fumes could have killed him because he’s an older man,” Taylor stated.
When fire crews arrived on the scene, the home had already collapsed. As they got inside, the noticed natural gas had accumulated, and they had to rush to get the occupants out to safety.
Healy says that his crews got to the home just at the right time Thursday night.
Shutting utilities down to stop the spread of gas, most likely caused by a sheared off natural gas line.
“Anytime you have natural gas accumulations and ignition sources nearby, it could cause a hazard,” Healy said.
Amazingly, they managed to get everyone out safely without injury. Fire crews even prevented the unstable home from damaging neighboring property.
“I’m glad that they found him doing OK and they got him out of there, because he could have died in there,” Taylor said.
Healy says the close call should serve as a valuable lesson to other homeowners to always have your home inspected and report anything unusual before it’s too late.
“Building maintenance is important and the foundation of your home is what keeps it in place,” Healy explained.
FOX40 was told the two people inside the home are physically fine but they are displaced for the time being with the house being ruled unsafe to live in.